FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Former Fairbanks North Star borough Mayor Jim Sampson has been elected the executive president of the Alaska AFL-CIO.
Sampson takes over from Mano Frey who held the job for 18 years. Frey is taking the job of vice president and regional manager for the Laborers' International of North America.
Sampson served two terms as mayor of the Fairbanks North Star Borough and as labor commissioner under Gov. Steve Cowper. Most recently he was chairman of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. board of trustees.
''I'm going to spend a lot of time on jobs,'' said Sampson. ''Good-paying jobs.''
Sampson said he and other union leaders plan a trip to Washington, D.C., in a few weeks to start lobbying for the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.
Sampson also plans to work toward getting an Alaska natural gas line project under way by lobbying for legislation that would guarantee a minimum price for gas producers.
In the state, he expects to oppose efforts to exempt from the state's new $7.15 minimum wage law those workers who receive tips.
''I'm also going to work on improving worker's compensation laws,'' he said.
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