AFL-CIO’s Black History Month Profile: E.J. Jenkins

Labor News

Reprinted from the AFL-CIO’s blog Now by Kenneth Quinnell on February 22, 2021.

This year, for Black History Month, [the AFL-CIO is] taking a look at a group of leaders who are currently active making Black history across the labor movement. Check back daily for a new profile and meet some of the people working to improve not only their community, but also to improve conditions for working people across the country. Today’s profile is E.J. Jenkins.

United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1014’s Jenkins is the epitome of a union activist. He got involved through the USW’s Next Generation program for young members and has since been active in civil rights, election and organizing work, and the A. Philip Randolph Institute. He won the Jefferson Award in 2018 for starting Black Labor Week, a program dedicated to educating, empowering and uplifting the community. The program began in Gary, Indiana, and has since expanded under Jenkins’ leadership.

AFL-CIO Now 2/22

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at