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New Jersey AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Laurel Brennan. (Photo: New Jersey AFL-CIO).

Labor Leader: Laurel Brennan is first woman to serve in top N.J. AFL-CIO post

By David Wildstein, September 05 2022 12:01 am

Laurel Brennan is the first woman to serve as Secretary-Treasurer of the New Jersey AFL-CIO.

New Jersey is one of seven states to elect a woman to a top leadership post in the AFL-CIO.  Last month, Brennan endorsed Elizabeth Shuler to become the first woman to serve as president of the national AFL-CIO.

Brennan was elected to statewide office in 1997, when Charles Wowkanech became president after Charles Marciante retired.

She is currently serving her seventh term and played a leading role in a decision by New Jersey to raise the minimum wage.  Brennan has advocated for a greater role for women in organized labor.

Brennan launched her career as a labor leader in the early 1970s when he completed an internship with the New Jersey State Federation of Teachers.   She was an organizer for the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union and served as business agent for the Philadelphia-South Jersey District Council.  Brennan became the first woman to serve as Secretary-Treasurer of the Southern New Jersey Central Labor Council.

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