AFSCME Council 18

Congressman Lujan Attends Dedication of AFSCME Hall to Speaker Ben Lujan and Carmen Lujan


"Those are the lessons we learn from labor, when there's someone in need, we step forward." Congressman Lujan shared these words while accepting an award on behalf of his father, Speaker Lujan, for his lifetime of work fighting for working people.

The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 18 honored long time Speaker of the House Ben Lujan and his highly respected wife, Carmen Lujan in a dedication ceremony on Saturday, Sept 22nd. AFSCME’s main meeting hall at 1202 Pennsylvania NE, Albuquerque was be dedicated with a plaque and named “Lujan Union Hall” after the venerable couple.

The ceremony will ran from 10:00 a.m. until 10:45 a.m., followed by the Lujan family and union members canvassing and phone-banking on behalf of candidates who want to carry on the Speaker's work as he retires from the legislature.

The Speaker and Mrs. Lujan’s son, Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, attended to represent the family. AFSCME members and several NM State Representatives paid tribute with personal stories of how the Speaker has made a real, tangible difference in union members' lives.

Speaker and Carmen Lujan and have long been revered as champions for working families throughout New Mexico, and are held in high esteem by AFSCME and the state’s labor movement. Speaker Lujan himself was a union iron worker at the Los Alamos Laboratory early in his career.

“He not only believes in the missions that union workers--and all workers--carry out every day, but he believes deeply in giving those workers a path to America's great middle class,” said Carter Bundy, political and legislative director for AFSCME in New Mexico.

Speaker Lujan announced his three year fight against lung cancer in January at the start of the Legislative session and did not run for reelection. He believes his cancer is a direct result of years of exposure to asbestos while working at the lab.

The Speakers legacy includes work strengthening laws protecting building trades, manufacturing, educational, and public sector employees. “His battles have been our battles, and our battles have been his battles. He hasn't just been a political leader, he has been a leader in the movement for basic human rights, civil rights, and social and economic justice,” concluded Bundy.


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