Press Release

AFJ Mourns Loss of Labor Leader Richard Trumka

August 5, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 5, 2021 – Today the world learned that Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO, has died at the age of 72. A former mine worker, Trumka was elected president of the United Mine Workers of America in 1982. During his time there, Trumka organized several significant strikes to fight for workers’ rights and fought in solidarity with South African miners fighting against the apartheid government. Trumka went on to become AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer in 1995, a position he held until he was elevated to president of the AFL-CIO in 2009.

Throughout his life, Trumka was known as a fierce advocate for workers and he was a deeply respected leader throughout the organized labor and progressive advocacy communities.

Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron issued the following statement:

“Today we grieve the passing of a tremendous ally in the fight for justice. Richard Trumka was a tireless advocate for workers and an important ally in the fight for equal justice for all. Through his many years of leadership at the AFL-CIO, he fought for an America that respects the rights and protects the needs of working people, and for an American society that lives up to its best values. We are proud to have partnered with Richard and the AFL-CIO in this fight. His legacy will long be remembered within the labor movement as well as the progressive advocacy community, and we will continue that work in honor of his memory.”