After four decades as a labor activist and more than five years as the executive vice president of the AFL-CIO, Arlene Holt Baker will be retiring from her position in the coming months. Holt Baker announced she was leaving the position she's held since 2007 after the AFL-CIO national convention in September. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who is up for re-election at the convention, said he would replace Holt Baker on his ticket with Tefere Gebre, who is 45 and is the executive director of the Orange County Labor Federation in California.
Holt Baker previously was an organizer with AFSCME and has been with the AFL-CIO since 1995. She is the first African American to serve as executive vice president of the AFL-CIO. She said that while she is retiring from her position, she is not leaving the labor movement: "I am not going away; I will be in this movement until the day I die."