Washington Labor Leader Jackie Jeter Retiring

Jackie Jeter
Chris Garlock

Longtime labor activist Jackie Jeter (ATU), president of the Metropolitan Washington [D.C.] Council, AFL-CIO, will retire at the end of January after a lifelong career in the labor movement.

In addition to her incredible leadership with the council, Jeter served as an elected official with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689 in Forestville, Maryland, for more than 25 years. She began as a shop steward for rail operations in 1994 and was elected assistant business agent, first vice president and financial secretary-treasurer before becoming president in 2007. With every new position, Jeter set a historical precedent as the first African American woman to hold those offices.

Jeter also made history at the council when she became its first female president in 2016. Previously, she served on the council’s executive board from 1996 to 2002. 

Jeter told the council that now is the right time for this decision. “When I retired from the ATU, I promised myself that I would give back to those who have given me energy, strength and unconditional love all these years, and that’s my family,” Jeter said. “My tenure at the Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO, has been a special experience capping a long career in the labor movement, and I’m especially grateful to the council’s board and staff, as well as to all of our wonderful affiliated locals who work so hard and so effectively every day for working men and women throughout the region.”

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) thanked Jeter for her service: “Throughout her career, Jackie never stopped protecting and championing the rights for working people. The labor movement has deeply benefited from her hard work and dedication, and we will miss her dearly.” 

The entire AFL-CIO wishes her a long and happy retirement.