Indiana AFL-CIO Elects Youngest and First Woman President

The Indiana AFL-CIO elected new leadership to fill the seat of the retiring labor legend Ken Zeller. Nancy Guyott is a hard-working and smart protector of labor interests and was a labor “go-to” for the Evan Bayh and Frank O’Bannon Administrations. The release is as follows:



Guyott becomes first woman, youngest person to lead organization since the 1960s

INDIANAPOLIS – Today the Indiana State AFL-CIO announced that Nancy Guyott has been elected its new president and Joe Breedlove has been re-elected as its secretary-treasurer.

Guyott makes history by becoming the first women, and, at age 41, the youngest person in nearly fifty years, to lead the labor organization. She was unanimously elected at the AFL-CIO’s state convention to replace retiring president Ken Zeller. Guyott is now one of only the six women in the nation to head a state AFL-CIO.

The Indiana State AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations) is a federation of 800 local unions across the state belonging to 50 International Unions. In total, the Indiana State AFL-CIO represents more than 300,000 working Hoosiers

“I am honored to have been elected by my union brothers and sisters to serve in this capacity, and am ready for the many challenges that lay ahead,” said Guyott. “With so many people out of work, with so many families struggling to make it and with so many challenges facing our state and country it’s more important than ever that working Hoosiers have a strong voice in the discussion, and that’s what Joe and I are committed to providing.”

“From the national debate on health care, to the debate in the Indiana Statehouse over unemployment insurance,  to discussions in local communities with private business over workplace conditions and fair wages, we will be there to stand up for the working men and women of this state.”

Prior to her election, Guyott served as the AFL-CIO’s counsel for five years. She also spent 12 years working in various capacities within the Indiana Department of Labor including serving as its commissioner from 2003 to 2005. A member of the United Steelworkers (USW) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Guyott is a graduate of Harvard College and earned her law degree from Indiana University Bloomington.

Breedlove, who was first elected secretary-treasurer in 2003, began his career as an apprentice lineman in 1977 for the Boone County REMC, studied as an apprentice with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 481, served as journeyman wireman and foreman and as the business representative and referral agent for that local. Joe is a graduate of Antioch University.

“On behalf of all the men and women of the AFL-CIO, Joe and I also want to thank Ken Zeller for his years of service,” added Guyott. “He has been a real champion of working people and we cannot thank him enough for all he has done for this organization and for working people in Indiana.”

Zeller was first elected as President of the Indiana State AFL-CIO in 1997.  Prior to his elected he served from 1989 to 1997 as the Commissioner of the Indiana Department Labor under both Governors Evan Bayh and Frank O’Bannon. Zeller also worked as a member of the Mine Workers and the USW, where he served as president of USW Local 12775.

Guyott and Breedlove assume their positions immediately.

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