WSLC's Rick Bender elected to national AFL-CIO board

SEATTLE,WA -- Rick Bender, president of the Washington State Labor Council, has been elected to the national AFL-CIO's General Board, Washington state's first-ever representative on that panel.

Bender was elected to one of four at-large seats by officers representing 13 state labor federations in the AFL-CIO's Western Region. He succeeds Claude (Blackie) Evans of the Nevada AFL-CIO, who is retiring from his position on the board.

The General Board decides policy questions referred by the national AFL-CIO's Executive Council for the largest labor organization in the country, representing more than 13 million members.

"Rick Bender's leadership provides a strong, vibrant voice for working families," said national AFL-CIO President John Sweeney. "Washington state is a great model for the rebirth of the American labor movement."

Bender's election will not affect his status as president of the Washington State Labor Council, an office he has held since March 1993. Prior to that he served as executive secretary of the King County Labor Council, and executive secretary of the Seattle Building and Construction Trades Council. A member of Laborers Local 242 in Seattle, he began his career as an apprentice with Cement Masons Local 528 in 1966.

Bender was a Democratic state legislator from 1973 to 1991, serving 10 years in the House and eight in the Senate. In Olympia he served as Senate majority whip, House assistant majority leader and chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.


Dec. 19, 1997 issue

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