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.

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 and his parents instilled the values of solidarity and social justice in him from a young age. Throughout his career, he has worked as a labor attorney, an organizer, a negotiator and a lobbyist.

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. His primary responsibility 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 protect the vital services the Health System delivers to the working people of Cook County. His involvement with various community organizations, including Chicago Jobs with Justice and Arise Chicago, allow 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.

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.

 

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.

Print

More in this section