Our nation lost an incredible leader today. Richard Trumka was a champion for all working people. While he may be gone, his legacy will live on for generations. In the years I have followed Rich’s work, one thing remained true – he knew that the labor and civil rights movements were deeply interconnected. He didn’t just fight for jobs, but for equality for all working people regardless of race, gender, occupation or immigration status. He knew in his core that without solidarity among the working class, there is no defense against the political polarization that continues to plague the nation.
I will personally remember Rich for his leadership centering working families in our efforts to address climate change. Rich led the AFL-CIO with a vision beyond just today, but focused on where our economy must shift to meet the challenges faced by our communities and our planet. He knew that change was necessary to combat the ravages of climate change and that it can be done in a way that retains and creates good, union jobs.
I sat with Rich in 2019, just before we both addressed the state’s labor delegation and I was inspired by his hope and optimism for the future. It is a piece of him we must, and will, carry on.
Trudi and I extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends and labor brothers, sisters and siblings all over the country. We are holding him in our hearts and our thoughts.