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AFT-Maryland Statement on the Passing of Ernie Grecco

Ernie Grecco with Lorretta Johnson

It is with the heaviest of hearts that I share that Metro Baltimore AFL-CIO President Emeritus Ernie Grecco has passed. Ernie was a lifelong champion for labor and particularly for public employees. He was a strong advocate for AFT-Maryland and offered the full support of the council to the state federation at every turn. He was a kind, engaging, and affable leader who greeted everyone he met with a warm smile and playful joke. 

Ernie Grecco

Ernie was not short on charisma or charm but that should not be remembered as a substitute for substance. He stood on North Avenue and rallied in support of Baltimore City educators and pounded the pavements of Annapolis to support state government employees. He valued the work of municipal employees and advocated for them just as he did the building trades and other AFL-CIO constituencies. He was a titan of labor in the state, and the sadness of his passing will be felt far beyond the Maryland labor community. 

One of my core memories with Ernie that I will always cherish is the AFL-CIO conferences in Atlantic City, NJ where, upon the conclusion of the conference, Ernie would present special recipients with a certificate he claimed was made of “100% I-talian gold” as he would phrase it. His generous spirit knew no bounds and his commitment to the labor movement was only exceeded by his commitment to his faith and his family. There will only be one Ernie Grecco, and it was my immense honor to have worked in the labor movement with him. 

On behalf of the staff and every member of the AFT-Maryland, we extend our heartfelt and deepest condolences to Ernie’s family on his passing. We thank them for sharing their loved one with the labor movement for so many years. 

In solidarity,
Kenya Campbell
President, AFT-Maryland

Ernie Grecco


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