Linda Chavez-Thompson was elected Executive Vice President of the AFL-CIO on October 25, 1995 at the federation's convention in New York, part of an insurgent campaign to reinvigorate the American labor movement. A second-generation American of Mexican descent, Ms. Chavez-Thompson has 29 years experience in the labor movement. She rose from the organizing ranks of her union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), to become the first person of color elected to an executive office of the AFL-CIO. She is the highest-ranking woman in the labor movement.
Prior to her election as Executive Vice President, Ms. Chavez-Thompson served as a Vice President of the AFL-CIO since August 3, 1993. She served on the Executive Council Committees on Full Participation, International Affairs, Article XX Appeals and Housing. She was elected National Vice-President of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement in 1986 and served in this capacity through 1996.
Ms. Chavez-Thompson was a Vice President of AFSCME from June 1988 through June 1996. As Vice President, she directed the union's efforts in a seven-state district--Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah. During her term in office, there were numerous successes in her Southwestern district, including an organizing drive in Texas that brought in 5,000 new members over the past five years, and the passage of a collective bargaining law for public employees in New Mexico.
She was elected Executive Director of AFSCME Texas Council 42 on February 4, 1995, responsible for advancing legislative, political action and education programs for more than seventeen local unions that make up the council.
Born to sharecropper parents in Lubbock, Texas, Ms. Chavez-Thompson began her trade union career as a union secretary for the Laborers' International Union from December 1967 through June 1971. She served as an AFSCME International Representative, Assistant Business Manager, Business Manager and Executive Director of AFSCME Local 2399 from June 1971 to February 1995. She has also served on many city and community boards in San Antonio and was named to several political appointments in her home state of Texas. Prior to moving to Washington, D.C. in November 1995, Ms. Chavez-Thompson resided in San Antonio, Texas.
She is the widow of Robert Thompson, and has two children by a previous marriage and a grandson.
The Advisory Board
Angela E. OH
Dr. John Hope Franklin
William F. Winter
Suzan Johnson Cook
President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House | White House for Kids
White House History | White House Tours | Help
T H E W H I T E H O U S E