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Tribute to Shelley Kessler Upon Her Retirement

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  General Motors, UAW

Tribute to Shelley Kessler Upon Her Retirement

Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo
Congressional Record: 114th Congress
Extensions of Remarks
13 July 2016

HON. ANNA G. ESHOO of California in the House of Representatives
Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Ms. ESHOO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Shelley Kessler, a pillar of the California Labor Movement, as she retires from serving the people of San Mateo County with great distinction and respect, as Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the San Mateo County Central Labor Council.

Shelley Kessler has said that she became involved in the labor movement because social and economic justice struggles are the basis of her life and work. She grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from Sonoma State University and began working rotating shifts at Owens Illinois. Her union career expanded in 1977 at General Motors where she became the first woman elected as a full-time Union Representative of the local UAW. She began her 34 year affiliation with the IAM in 1982 when she began work at Westinghouse Electric. In 1985 Shelley applied for the job of Political Director of the San Mateo County Central Labor Council, a position she held for eleven years. For the past twenty years she has been Executive Director-Treasurer of the Labor Council where she represented 110 affiliated local unions and 70,000 working member families.

On her appointment in 2014 to the California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation, IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger said ``Kessler's unyielding dedication to the working families of California and her community is exemplary. The CHSWC is fortunate to have such a proud advocate for workers' health and safety as a member of its board. ``Shelley Kessler's advocacy has been a force for good. She positioned labor as a force in San Mateo County and has been a leader in many organizing efforts. She has served on countless boards and committees to advance workers and unions, and has earned many accolades including the California Labor Federation ``Women Labor Leader of the Year'' award, and was inducted into the San Mateo County Women's Hall of Fame in recognition of ``Extraordinary Achievements and Contributions.''

Mr. Speaker, I ask the entire House of Representatives to join me in honoring a great American woman, pioneer, role model, union leader and workers' advocate, Shelley Kessler, as she retires from the San Mateo County Central Labor Council. We are a stronger nation because she has worked for all of us and we wish her every blessing in her well- deserved retirement.

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