It ended with a song, of course. Not all retirement parties end this way but this was Saul Schniderman’s, who’s been singing on DC-area picket lines as long as anyone can remember, so there was lots of singing, including a parody of a “Hamilton” rap and a serenade from DC Labor Chorus Director Elise Bryant. After 20 years as president of AFSCME 2910 and nearly 40 years in the federal government, Schniderman will officially retire in mid-January, but his local decided to turn its annual holiday party on Wednesday into a festive celebration of the longtime activist’s career. AFSCME Secretary Treasurer Elissa McBride lauded Schniderman “for always bringing his head, heart, hands and feet to the labor movement.” Anne Toohey, current Chief Steward of Local 2910, said that “Saul’s singular commitment to justice at the Library of Congress has touched persons at all levels of the institution.” Schniderman’s labor career began at the University of Maryland College Park, when he organized library workers into AFSCME Local 1072. In 1980 his federal career began, eventually landing him at the Library of Congress in 1987 as a cataloger and he was soon elected as a steward for the Library of Congress Professional Guild, AFSCME 2910, where he became president in 1998. “The Guild is a traditional labor union and a professional association whose members have, through organization and collective bargaining, transformed the work environment at the Library of Congress,” said Schniderman. He also co-founded the Labor Heritage Foundation, helped form the DC Labor Chorus and publishes the weekly Friday’s Labor Folklore. And while Schniderman plans to relax and do some traveling after retiring, he’ll return to UMD next year to work with the Meany Labor Archive to put his Inventory of American Labor Landmarks online.
- report/photo by Chris Garlock; photo (l-r): AFSCME Council 20 Executive Director Andrew Washington, AFSCME Secretary Treasure Elissa McBride and Saul Schniderman