Press Release

Working America Mourns the Sad and Untimely Passing of Richard L. Trumka


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today we mourn the premature passing of our great friend and leader, AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka, who also served as Treasurer of Working America, the 3.5 million-member community affiliate of the AFL-CIO. President Trumka began his career in the coalfields of western Pennsylvania, where he led a successful strike against Pittston Coal Company and secured better lives for its workers and their families. He rose through the ranks to become President of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) and later Secretary-Treasurer and President of the AFL-CIO. At each stage of his career and life’s work, President Trumka embodied what it means to be a worker and member of his community. He helped end apartheid in South Africa and put all his energy to protecting and preserving our own democracy when it was on the line.

Working America remembers President Trumka for his steadfast support of working people in all forms, including those who do not have the benefit of a union on the job. “Brother Trumka was a tireless champion of the rights of all workers, union and non-union, across the United States and around the world,” said Lee Saunders, President of Working America.

Karen Nussbaum, Founding Director of Working America, recalls: “President Trumka was one of Working America’s earliest champions. He understood the importance of bringing all workers together to demand changes that benefited the greatest number of people.”

“President Trumka showed us all the importance of leadership. Millions of working people who may never know his name are made better by his deeds. He is missed.” added Matt Morrison, Executive Director of Working America.

It is a fitting measure of his leadership that one of his last acts was an expression of solidarity with striking members of his beloved United Mineworkers Union of America. The work on behalf of working people continues and takes on even greater urgency. As President Trumka often said “we must be the tip of the spear, not the middle and not the end, in the fight for economic and racial justice.”



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