(Washington)—The American Federation of Government Employees, the nation’s largest union representing hundreds of thousands of federal labor employees, mourns the loss of former AFGE District 10—which encompasses Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and New Mexico—National Vice President Glen J. Peterson.
Peterson was a leading force for federal workers during his more than 40 years with the union. As 10th District national vice president, he worked to increase AFGE’s organizing capabilities. During his 17 years as NVP, Peterson’s district led the union in organizing gains and won the coveted Challenger’s Cup—an award given annually for the highest membership gains—which was subsequently renamed the Peterson Cup.
Peterson was recruited in 1963 as a union organizer while working as a nursing assistant with the Veterans Administration. He worked as a national representative for the 10th District for two years before becoming the national director of organization. Peterson returned to the 10th District in 1973 to serve as the senior national representative, a position he held until running for NVP in 1976.
Throughout his life and career, Peterson was highly influential in helping to pass state and federal legislation for federal employees, and often worked closely with prominent political figures. Peterson served as a campaign manager for former U.S. Vice President Hubert Humphrey and former U.S. Senator Ralph Yarborough (D-Texas), and was a labor delegate to three Democratic National Conventions. He also received a Certificate of Appreciation from the State of Texas for his service on Governor Ann Richards’ Task Force on Economic Transition.
“Glen Peterson was an exceptional leader who could very well be credited with the organization of almost every local west of the Mississippi,” said AFGE National President John Gage. “He exemplified what dedication and service truly are, and he shall not be forgotten.”
Peterson, a golden glove boxing champion and U.S. navy veteran, died on July 15, at his home in Boerne, Texas, of lung cancer. He leaves behind his wife, Laverne; sons, Jim and Mark; and four grandchildren.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 750,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.