LA Labor Mourns Passing of Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO President
The following is a statement from Ron Herrera, President of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO on the passing of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:
“We are saddened to learn of the sudden passing of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka earlier this morning. It is an immense loss to the Labor Movement and every single working family in the United States.
Brother Trumka dedicated his entire life to the labor movement. As a third-generation coal miner, he had the values of hard work and solidarity instilled in him, serving as a foundation for his every action. As the youngest president of the United Mine Workers of America, Trumka led coal miners in one of the most successful strikes in history against the Pittston Coal Company. That innovative and passionate drive served him well as he took the helm of the AFL-CIO where he fought to protect the rights of workers and pushed relentlessly, leading the labor movement to some of the most historic victories in our history.
He understood the struggles of the working class and never forgot his roots. In a conversation last year, he was proud to tell me about his first elected job in the union as the chairman of the health and safety committee and how seriously he took his position.
He said ‘…I thought it was my job to make sure that if you went in that hole, you came out of that hole at night and you got to go home safely to your family.
All of you, not a piece of you, not someone who was infected with a disease that you got little by little every day, but I wanted you to go home whole. So you’re going to enjoy your family.’
From the chairman of the health and safety committee of a coal mine to the leader of the American Labor Movement, his legacy will live on for generations and his impact on working people will continue to be felt for decades to come. While we all mourn the loss of an incredible leader and friend, we will honor his legacy by continuing the fight to empower working people in our country. “