"We will not allow women, people of color, gay or lesbian workers or brothers and sisters with disabilities to be denied the fruits of their labor in the workplace," said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney in a statement.
Sweeney is expected to be overwhelmingly re-elected president of the nation's largest labor umbrella organization despite Monday's withdrawal of the Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union, who together represent more than 3 million U.S. workers.
"The leadership of the union movement needs to accurately reflect the diversity of our membership and communities," said Sweeney.
Separately, the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust announced a $750 million community investment plan for Chicago funded by union pension funds. The initiative is similar to union investments to build affordable housing in New York City.