About the CFL

Bios

ROBERT G. REITER, JR.
President

Bob Reiter

Bob Reiter is the President of the Chicago Federation of Labor, the third largest central labor council of the national AFL-CIO. He previously served two terms as Secretary-Treasurer of the CFL from July 2010 to May 2018.

For Bob, the labor movement has always had an influence on his life. His parents instilled the values of solidarity and social justice in Bob from a young age, and as he got older, he realized that everywhere he went and everything he did kept bringing him back to the labor movement.

Bob’s appreciation for the history of labor informs his understanding of the need to reposition the labor movement in light of its history. He is a third-generation member of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150. Throughout his career, he has worked as a labor attorney, an organizer, a negotiator and a lobbyist. When the opportunity to run for elected office of the Chicago Federation of Labor presented itself in 2010, Bob saw this as an opportunity to bring the values that his parents taught him to a bigger stage, allowing him to affect people’s lives in a way he could not do at his local.

While each union has its own unique successes and challenges, the broader issues and struggles are universally the same. Bob’s role as President allows him to be the voice of every CFL-affiliated union on these big picture issues. One of his responsibilities is to represent the interests of labor throughout Chicago and Cook County. Through his work on the Cook County Health and Hospital System’s Board of Directors, Bob works to build partnerships between health providers and the community, and he advocates for policies that improve the overall well-being of all people across Cook County. His involvement with various community groups, including Chicago Jobs with Justice’s Executive Committee and Arise Chicago’s Executive Board, allows him to fight for the rights of workers through education, organizing and shaping public discourse. As a member of the Citizen Action/Illinois Policy Council, Bob influences the organization’s public policy positions, the legislative agenda and any candidate endorsements for public office. On the Metropolitan Planning Council Resource Board, Bob is helping to build a strong economy and reinvigorate Chicago’s neighborhoods. In his previous work as a Board member for the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, Bob helped to strengthen the economy of Chicago by bringing tradeshows, conventions and other public events to Chicago. Bob is also lending his voice to issues related to international trade, meeting periodically with dignitaries from various European countries and experts from the agricultural, manufacturing and financial industries.

Bob holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in political science from Eastern Illinois University, and a Juris Doctor degree from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. He currently resides in Orland Park, IL. with his wife, Diana, and their two children.

 

DON V. VILLAR
Secretary-Treasurer

Don V VillarDon Villar was born into the labor movement and spirit of social justice. His father was on strike, fighting for better wages and benefits for bank workers in the Philippines, when he was born. Like many seeking a better life for their young children, his parents and three siblings immigrated to the U.S. They first moved to Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood before settling in Lakeview. His mother was a proud member of UNITE-HERE, working at a flight kitchen at O’Hare Airport to put her children through parochial school. Don attended St. Andrew’s Elementary School and Quigley North Preparatory Seminary High School.

Thanks to a SEIU represented security guard job at a Loop office building, Don attended UIC and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications. In 1991, Don became a member of NABET-CWA Local 41 – a union representing broadcast news and TV production workers in Chicago. During his nearly 25-year broadcast journalism career at WLS-TV (ABC) Chicago, Don won an Emmy Award for breaking news coverage.

In 2007, Don participated in his first negotiations with ABC. It was during the tense bargaining that he was inspired to go to Law School to be a better advocate for his coworkers. He would earn his Juris Doctorate at Loyola Law School within three years while still working fulltime at WLS-TV.

In 2010, Don was elected Vice President of NABET-CWA Local 41 and then President in 2015. In this role, he focused on organizing, movement building and collective bargaining. NABET-CWA Local 41’s membership grew under his leadership, with the successful efforts to organize employees at CAN TV and Big Shoulders. He also worked hard to engage the members and build solidarity.

In addition, Don is President of the CWA Illinois Unified Council, is on the Campaign Cabinet of United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, and is a licensed attorney.

Don is married to his wife Rose Tibayan, a former Television news reporter. They live in the West Loop.

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