Executive Council Statement

On the Retirement of Lorretta Johnson

We salute the power and passion of one of America’s most respected labor leaders—Dr. Lorretta Johnson.

Johnson began her career as a teacher’s aide in a Baltimore elementary school, where she organized paraprofessionals into the Baltimore Teachers Union. That experience laid the foundation for her union activism. She went on to serve as vice president of the Metropolitan Baltimore Council of AFL-CIO Unions for 30 years. For 17 years, she served as president of American Federation of Teachers (AFT)-Maryland.

After serving three years as the AFT’s executive vice president, Johnson was elected secretary-treasurer of the union in 2011, and that same year, she was elected to the AFL-CIO Executive Council, where her experience as an educator, union member and labor leader proved invaluable.

Johnson was a force in the advancement of racial and economic justice in America. She served as treasurer of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, chaired the AFT Racial Equity Task Force and served as a member of the AFL-CIO Labor Commission on Racial and Economic Justice. Her impact is felt by working people everywhere.

It’s impossible to list all of Dr. Lorretta Johnson’s accomplishments and contributions to working families and to her union. She spent her entire career fighting for working people, and on behalf of the 12.5 million members of the AFL-CIO, the Executive Council wishes her a happy and healthy retirement.