AFL-CIO Vice President Gebre: What does it mean to be American?

One night at his UPS job, Tefere Gebre’s co-worker handed him some union material.

“He told me that I’d get healthcare and vacation and other benefits by filling it out. I said ‘Are you serious?’ I thought, ‘Hmm. Everyone should have that’.”

Tefere, now the executive vice president of the AFL-CIO (the third-highest ranking position at the federation representing America’s working people), has been a proud union member for most of his life, valuing the freedom of people to come together in union.

The freedom is sacred to Tefere, considering what he had to live through to achieve it. And he won’t let anyone, especially not Donald Trump, try to take that away from him.

Born in Gondar, Ethiopia, Tefere came to the United States in the 1980s as a young teenager having survived a brutal military regime that killed thousands of people, even children.

Watch the video to hear Tefere’s story and his perspective on what being an American is.

Not Trump’s Immigrant | Election 2016 | AFL-CIO Video

This article is reposted from the AFL-CIO NOW Blog.


Jackie Tortora
Jackie Tortora

Jackie Tortora is Senior Digital Strategies Manager at AFL CIO.