Skip to main content

Passing the torch

Berry Craig
Social share icons

During today’s Kentucky State AFL-CIO Executive Board meeting I announced that I would not be seeking re-election as President of the Kentucky State AFL-CIO at our upcoming Biennial Convention.  

My decision to step down as President has certainly been one of the most difficult decisions of my life.  It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve as your President for the past twenty-four years and to fight alongside so many dedicated trade unionists and have the opportunity to uplift Kentucky’s hard working men and women. 

Being your President has truly been a labor of love and I am grateful to each of you for your encouragement, support and love during our journey together to revive the spirit and purpose of our great Labor Federation and the Kentucky labor movement.  During these past twenty-four years many members of our Executive Board have retired and some have passed, while some have served during my entire Presidency.  To all of those who have served and continue to serve, including our COPE members, CLCs and Constituency groups, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your dedicated, helpful and fraternal service to the Kentucky State AFL-CIO.  I have also had the honor of working in partnership with many individuals, organizations and elected leaders who share our principles and dedication to serving workers, families, communities and our nation and to them I extend my sincere gratitude and encouragement to growing our partnerships and advancing our shared beliefs. 

A special thanks to my partner and Brother, Secretary-Treasurer Jeff Wiggins for his dedicated service, support, friendship and love and also Political Coordinator Liles Taylor for his dedication, spirit and friendship and many thanks to former Secretary-Treasurer Brother Larry Jaggers who also dedicated many years to the success of the State Federation. 

It has certainly been a long and winding journey with some ups and downs, but we have grown together as a union movement and fought the good fight and will continue to do so.  For that I am most proud.  We know our opponents are constantly working to undermine the strength and effectiveness of organized labor and the benefits of collective bargaining and we have been constantly vigilant against their attacks.  Their best efforts have failed and our labor movement has flourished and will continue to do so if we remain vigilant, militant, welcoming and progressive. 

I have always been aware of the long, storied and powerful history of Kentucky’s labor movement and have felt a deep respect and gratitude for the service and sacrifice of those who have toiled in the fields to build Kentucky’s labor movement which has bettered the lives of millions of workers and their families.   I honor the achievements of our forebearers and union pioneers, some of whom I had the great fortune to work beside.  I would like to thank all of our affiliates and members for their solidarity, support and affiliation with the State Federation without which it would not exist. 

While I will be leaving my position as President, I will never leave the labor movement which I have cherished being a part of for the past forty years. 

I know that Kentucky’s labor family will rise to the occasion and choose a new President who will take our State Federation and Kentucky’s labor movement to greater heights, honor our labor movement’s history of achievements, and carry on our tradition of fighting for what is right! 

Solidarity Forever, Bill Londrigan