County Council Recognizes AFL-CIO D.C. Council President for Impact on Labor Movement (VIDEO & PHOTO)

The Montgomery County Council honored the longest serving and first African-American President of the Metropolitan Washington Council AFL-CIO on Tuesday. Joslyn Williams received the proclamation from Councilmember Nancy Navarro during a County Council session.

Williams grew up in the South during the Jim Crow era and attended Howard University in Washington D.C. After college he landed a job as a shop steward at the Library of Congress. Williams helped lead the campaign to fight for racial equality for workers at the Library of Congress in the 1960’s.  He credits his inspiration and start in the labor movement to civil rights leader A. Phillip Randolph who he met during the Civil Rights Movement.Joslyn Williams

Williams has been involved in the labor movement in Washington D.C. for more than 40 years.  He helped fight for the rights of union members for fair wages, safe working conditions and access to affordable health care and retirement funds.

Councilmember Nancy Navarro thanked Williams for his work on leading a campaign to raise the minimum wage in Montgomery County.

“Jos is a trailblazer who made it his life’s work to focus on fairness for working people,” Navarro said. “I have been honored to stand in unity with him and the AFL-CIO to bring economic justice to the workplace, improve the lives of working families and to promote social justice in our county, state and nation. We will continue the fight because there is still much to accomplish; however, it won’t be the same without Jos on the front line with us.”

Williams told MyMCMedia that he has no plans of retiring and will continue to fight for the rights of workers.

“After 34 years I think it’s high time to pass on the gavel to somebody else to carry on the fight and the legacy that this council has had for the 34 years that I have been fortunate to be it’s president. I move on to a different plane of action, not that I’m leaving the movement or retiring. I want to try a few other things that affect workers,” Williams said in a phone interview.

You can watch the proclamation below.

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Willie James Inman

About Willie James Inman

Willie James Inman is a Community Engagement Specialist and Multimedia Journalist at Montgomery Community Media (MCM). You can email story ideas at or reach him on Twitter @imwilljames.


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