Executive Council Statement

On the Retirement of Paul Shearon

The AFL-CIO Executive Council celebrates the service of Paul Shearon, retired international president of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers. 

After a distinguished career with IFPTE’s largest local, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, where he led the landmark Boeing strike in 2000, Shearon was elected to serve as the international’s secretary-treasurer, a position he held from 2006–2018. In 2018, he was elected unanimously as international president.

Throughout his career, Shearon was committed to building collective strength through organizing and raising the standards of workers in the United States and Canada. He shored up the union’s finances and focused on providing the needed resources for organizing, especially internal organizing.

He was a leading voice to protect workers’ and retirees’ pensions and health benefits that are often gutted during corporate bankruptcy proceedings.

Shearon served on the AFL-CIO Commission on the Future of Work and Unions, where he played a key role in positioning the labor movement to ensure the benefits of technological progress are distributed fairly, and that workers have a say in technology, automation and evolving work arrangements.

As an immigrant from Liverpool, England, he was able to provide valuable recommendations to the AFL-CIO’s Executive Council Committee on Immigration.

His keen insight on the Labor Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations and Trade Policy was crucial to helping the labor movement develop a framework for worker-centered trade.

Shearon’s activism and dedication will leave an imprint on North America’s working families for generations to come.

On behalf of the 12.5 million members of the AFL-CIO, the Executive Council thanks Paul Shearon for his service and solidarity, and we wish him a long, happy and healthy retirement.