Robert Reiter elected to replace Jorge Ramirez as CFL president

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Robert Reiter (left) and Jorge Ramirez, both of the Chicago Federation of Labor, address the staff of the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Reader after an investment group led by former Chicago Ald. Edwin Eisendrath, which includes the Federation of Labor, acquired the newspapers in July 2017. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

The Chicago Federation of Labor announced Wednesday that Robert Reiter will replace outgoing president Jorge Ramirez.

Ramirez, who helped lead the labor-dominated investment group that purchased the Chicago Sun-Times last summer, threw his support behind Reiter, the organization’s secretary-treasurer, when Ramirez announced last month that he planned to step down when his term expires in June.

“Bob has been my brother in this fight for the last eight years, and I am proud to see him succeed me as President,” Ramirez said in a statement. “He is an organizer, a strategist and a fighter.”

CFL delegates voted to elect Reiter Tuesday evening. A career labor attorney, organizer and negotiator, he will become the organization’s 19th president — and the most powerful labor leader in Chicago.

“I learned so much over the last eight years as Secretary-Treasurer from the other leaders across this movement by watching and listening,” Reiter said in the statement. “These are turbulent times for labor, but Chicago is the hometown of the American labor movement.”

Ramirez was part of the CFL leadership for 12 years, including eight as president. He previously said his reasons for stepping down were “multiple and personal and not stuff I’ll get into at this point,” and that he didn’t have any specific job lined up. He remains the chairman of the Sun-Times board.

Don V. Villar, the president of NABET-CWA Local 41, was elected to replace Reiter as secretary-treasurer.

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