UPDATE: State lawmaker elected head of Mass. labor union

The largest labor union in Massachusetts has elected a state lawmaker to be its next leader.

Sen. Steven Tolman, a Boston Democrat, was running unopposed for the presidency of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO.

Tolman, who succeeds outgoing president Robert Haynes, said one of his goals is to bring several unions that have split off in recent years back into the AFL-CIO to give the organization more clout.

The Massachusetts AFL-CIO represents about 400,000 workers around the state.

The choice of Tolman comes as labor unions – particularly those representing public sector workers – face a number of legislative issues including pension and health care changes.

Tolman is in his seventh term in the Senate after two terms in the House.

A special election will be needed to fill Tolman’s Senate seat.

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