Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski
Art Pulaski is the chief officer of the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. The Federation represents 2.1 million members of 1,200 manufacturing, transportation, construction, service and public sector unions.
Pulaski’s career in organized labor began at 16, when, as a supermarket clerk, he joined the Amalgamated Meat Cutters Union.
As leader of the Labor Federation, Pulaski has built more political activism for the grassroots and new political technologies to help unions win important elections. Under his leadership, the Federation has helped to elect worker-friendly candidates to the California Legislature and other statewide offices.
The Federation’s achievements have included restoring daily overtime pay, raising the minimum wage and passing the nation’s first Paid Family Leave law. In 2010, the Federation led the successful campaign to ensure that every California democrat in Congress voted in favor of the landmark federal health care reform legislation.
Early in his career, Pulaski built coalitions with union and community groups to reform energy policies and protect retirees. He has helped build stronger alliances between unions, community groups and faith-based organizations for numerous reform campaigns. Pulaski also played a leadership role in the Apollo Alliance, a national coalition for cleaner energy and better jobs.
Pulaski has served on numerous gubernatorial panels and commissions on economic progress and workforce development. He was a founder of one of California’s model childcare centers, called PalCare, and served as president of nationally televised PBS series “We Do the Work”, the Labor Project for Working Families and the California Works Foundation.
President Connie Leyva
Connie M. Leyva serves as President of the California Labor Federation and as President of UFCW Local 1428 (Pomona/Claremont), the first woman to hold either of these positions. Leyva also serves on the International Executive Board of the UFCW. During the 2008 Presidential Election campaign, Leyva was one of 20 national leaders chosen by then Senator Obama as a member to the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee where she worked alongside other notable democrats to author the Democratic Platform that is being used as a ruling guideline by President Barack Obama within his current administration.
Leyva stands at the forefront of a new generation of leaders of Organized Labor that is forcefully bringing the needs and legitimate aspirations of working Americans back to the national agenda. As the chief executive of UFCW Local 1428, Leyva performed a critical role during the 2003-2004 grocery strike and lockouts in Southern California. She testified before a congressional panel on the need for affordable health care, coordinated the UFCW Region 8 Women’s Network and took prominent roles in the UFCW International Conventions in 1998, 2003 and 2008.
UFCW International President Joe Hansen appointed Leyva to co-chair the International Union’s Committee on the Future. In addition, she is a senior officer of the UFCW Western States Council. This year, Leyva has been honored by The Latina and Latino Roundtable of the Pomona and San Gabriel Valley, The UCLA Labor Center, SOL (Strengthening our Lives) and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor all for outstanding leadership.
Leyva’s roots in the Labor Movement are deep. Her father was a supermarket worker who belonged to UFCW Local 1428 and her mother was a member of CSEA (California State Employees Association) for 35 years. She met her husband, Albert, when both were working at an Alpha Beta supermarket.
Leyva joined Local 1428 in 1985, her senior year in high school, while working for Alpha Beta. She worked her way through college, graduating in 1991 from the University of Redlands with a bachelor’s degree in communicative disorders. She started working at Local 1428 in 1994 as a temporary employee in the Benefits Department. She was appointed a Union Representative in 1995 by the then president of the Local, the late Joe Barragan, whom she was elected to succeed after his sudden and untimely death.
In early 2002, she became the first woman president of a UFCW local in Southern California. In Spring of 2004, the California Teachers Association saluted Leyva as one of its Thirteen Amazing Women.
Leyva and her husband have twin 18-year-old girls, Allie and Jessie. They live in Chino.