Executive Council Statement

On the Retirement of Mike Langford

The AFL-CIO Executive Council recognizes the outstanding service of Mike Langford, retired Utility Workers (UWUA) president.

For 40 years, Langford gave a voice to working people and demonstrated the vision and solidarity necessary to tackle some of the greatest challenges of our time.

Langford began his career with the Detroit Edison Co. in 1978, rising through the ranks of the labor movement on his way to being elected president of the UWUA in 2006.

Langford was a clear and consistent champion of lifelong learning, creating an energy future defined by good jobs, rebuilding our infrastructure and supporting our veterans.

He was one of the nation’s foremost leaders in tackling climate change the right way, with continued prosperity for the workers, families and communities who have powered America for generations.

His stewardship of UWUA’s Power for America Training Trust Fund, a joint project of labor and management, has given members the opportunity to learn and grow into the jobs of today and tomorrow.

Langford also joined with union member veterans to form the Utility Workers Military Assistance Program in 2012, which has successfully trained more than 700 returning service members for jobs in the industry.

In 2016, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service honored Langford with the Director’s Award for Excellence, recognizing the cooperation between American Water and the UWUA to rebuild our nation’s water infrastructure. 

That was Mike Langford’s approach: Fight when necessary and reach consensus where possible. The UWUA and all working people are better off for his service. The AFL-CIO Executive Council wishes him a long and happy retirement.