WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees proudly celebrates the recognition of the late Augusta Y. Thomas, AFGE National Vice President Emeritus for Women and Fair Practices, at the AFL-CIO Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference Awards Gala on Sunday, January 20, 2019.
“We are truly grateful for this honor that is being bestowed upon our beloved Augusta Thomas,” said AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. “Our union is indebted to the work and advocacy of Ms. Thomas during her more than 50 years of service to AFGE. She was a true leader in our movement for civil, human, and workers’ rights.”
Thomas began her government career in 1966 as a nursing assistant at the VA hospital in Louisville, Ky. She joined the union her first day on the job and continued her union activism until her passing in October of 2018. Thomas spent her life fighting for racial equality and human rights. She participated in countless civil rights battles in her hometown of Louisville, KY and traveled across the south to fight injustice.
“Ms. Thomas is revered as AFGE’s most iconic civil, human and workers’ rights leader,” said AFGE National Vice President for Women and Fair Practices Jeremy Lannan. “She was a true champion who sacrificed everything to ensure future generations have a voice and seat at the table.”
For more than 25 years, the AFL-CIO’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday observance has brought together more than 500 trade unionists annually to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King, perform community service, and examine current civil and human rights issues. This event reinforces the historic bond between the labor and civil rights movements, honors Dr. King’s vision on the importance of collective action—whether at the voting booth or at the workplace—and mobilizes participants to continue their work to make Dr. King’s dream a reality.