WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh today issued a statement on the passing of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:
“American workers have lost one of their greatest champions in AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. President Trumka was a role model for me as a labor leader and a partner to me as a public servant, as we worked to drive positive change for workers and communities across America. Most important, Rich was a dear friend and I will miss him.
“He was elected the youngest President of the United Mineworkers of America at age 33, and his commitment only grew with every year he fought for the rights and well-being of his brothers and sisters in the labor movement and beyond.
“From the commercial airways 30,000 feet in the air to the deepest mine shafts 10,000 feet below ground, there is no part of our world that was not touched by his grace and commitment to what he believed was right.
“My colleagues and I will be forever grateful for the ways he pushed us to think bigger and do better, for his wise counsel, and for the more just society he leaves us with today.
“In the coming days and weeks, I hope the remembrances of Richard Trumka’s unparalleled life and career bring people from every corner of society – from the White House to the factory floor – together to share the ways he lit fires in each of us that will go on burning long after he is gone.
“We pray that he rests in a profoundly earned peace, and that the love we have for him brings his wife Barbara and his entire family comfort.”