The Labor Movement Mourns the Death of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

Earlier today news began to spread that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka had succumbed to a heart attack at age 72.

statement from Minnesota AFL-CIO President Bill McCarthy:

“Minnesota’s Labor Movement and working people across the nation lost a leader, an advocate, a friend, and a union brother today. A third generation Pennsylvania coal miner, Rich Trumka never forgot where he came from and devoted his life to improving the lives of all working Americans.

“During his time in office, President Trumka led the Labor Movement through some of the greatest challenges in our history and we’re all stronger thanks to his leadership.

“The thoughts and prayers of Minnesota’s Labor Movement are with President Trumka’s family, friends, and colleagues today. We mourn the passing of our leader and recommit ourselves to strengthening the Labor Movement that Rich Trumka loved so much.”

Statement from AFL-CIO Communications Director Tim Schlittner on the passing of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: 

“The labor movement, the AFL-CIO and the nation lost a legend today. Rich Trumka devoted his life to working people, from his early days as president of the United Mine Workers of America to his unparalleled leadership as the voice of America’s labor movement. He was a relentless champion of workers’ rights, workplace safety, worker-centered trade, democracy and so much more. He was also a devoted father, grandfather, husband, brother, coach, colleague and friend. Rich was loved and beloved. Today, the 56 unions and 12.5 million members of the AFL-CIO mourn the passing of our fearless leader and commit to honoring his legacy with action. Standing on Rich’s shoulders, we will pour everything we have into building an economy, society and democracy that lifts up every working family and community.”

John Nichols, writing for The Nation, wrote an extensive obituary.

The labor leader practiced ‘true solidarity’—from his days as an anti-apartheid activist to his bold embrace of immigrant rights and Black Lives Matter.

Labor Leaders from all over the country responded to Trumka’s sudden death.

Filiberto Nolasco Gomez is a former union organizer and former editor of Minneapolis based Workday Minnesota, the first online labor news publication in the state. Filiberto focused on longform and investigative journalism. He has covered topics including prison labor, labor trafficking, and union fights in the Twin Cities.

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