Ray served as a vice president of Gerald Rafshoon Advertising as well as Cohn and Wolfe Public Relations in Atlanta before forming his own strategic communications firm and moving to Washington, DC in 1980. Since then, Abernathy and Associates has represented many of the largest labor unions in America, including the Service Employees Union, AFSCME, the United Steelworkers of America, the United Mine Workers of America, and the AFL-CIO. Its hard-hitting corporate strategies, radio, television, print and free media campaigns have helped clients win some of the most historic battles in labor history, including the Pittson Coal strike, the flight attendants strike against American Airlines, and the rubber workers strike at Bridgestone-Firestone.

In addition, he’s the writer-director-producer of more than 100 industrial films and documentary short subjects, among them “Pueblo. Until It’s Over,” the story of a steel mill strike, “Police Riot at Century City,” a labor video that inspired the feature film “Bread and Roses,” and “Always on the Job” a 30-minute video narrated by Richard Masur and featuring first interviews with construction workers involved with heartbreaking rescue and restoration efforts after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Mr. Abernathy, who authors the literary/commentary blog From the Left Bank of the Potomac, has been personal speech writer for AFL-CIO President John Sweeney for 25 years and was a key advisor in Sweeney’s election to that post in 1995. He is author of the novel Stepping on the Cracks as well as fourteen short stories.