Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO labor organization, has died unexpectedly at the age of 72, as reported by CNN and confirmed by other sources.
Trumka was a close ally of the Biden White House, and it was President Joe Biden who mentioned Trumka’s passing during a press briefing today. Trumka has led the AFL-CIO since 2009, but it was unclear whether he was going to run again in the fall elections.
No cause of death was announced.
In a statement, AFL-CIO Communications Director Tim Schlittner informed the staff, “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,” “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.”
A clearly upset Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor, “I rise today with some sad, some horrible, news about the passing of a great friend, Rich Trumka, who left us this morning. The working people of America have lost a fierce warrior at a time when we needed him most.”
He added, “Rich Trumka was the working people of America. I wanted to inform my colleagues that we have just lost a giant, and we need him so.”
The National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association wrote on Twitter: “The labor movement has lost a giant and a longtime champion of working people across America. He will be greatly missed.”
This is breaking news, and we’ll update this story as we get more information.