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In a statement, the AFL-CIO said it “lost a legend”
“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,” said AFL-CIO communications director, Tim Schlittner. “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.”
Trumka a ‘champion’ for American workers – Buttigieg
Transportation secretary, Pete Buttigieg, said: “Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Richard Trumka, a fierce and effective champion for American workers and an especially important voice in our time.”
New Jersey governor Phil Murphy ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in the state to mark Trumka’s death.
“America’s and New Jersey’s working families have lost one of their most steadfast and dedicated allies,” Murphy said in a statement. “Organized labor has lost one of its most powerful voices.”
Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO labor union, has died at 72
The news of Trumka’s death was announced by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on the Senate floor on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.
Schumer, an ally of the union leader, said: “The working people of America have lost a fierce warrior at a time when we needed him most.”
Trumka had served as president of the labor federation, which has more than 12 million members, since 2009.