WASHINGTON — Richard Trumka, the powerful president of the AFL-CIO labor union, has died, according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Schumer, an ally of the union boss, announced Trumka’s death from the Senate floor Thursday.
“The working people of America have lost a fierce warrior at a time when we needed him most,” Schumer said.
President Joe Biden called Trumka “a close friend” who was “more than the head of AFL-CIO.” He apologized for showing up late to a meeting with Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander civil rights leaders, saying he had just learned Trumka had died.
Further details of Trumka’s death were not immediately available. The AFL-CIO did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin said the following regarding Trumka’s passing:
“I am heartbroken to learn of the death of my dear friend Richard Trumka. Rich’s story is the American story – he was the son and grandson of Italian and Polish immigrants and began his career mining coal. He never forgot where he came from. He dedicated the rest of his career to fighting for America’s working men and women. He was a fierce advocate for working people and a truly decent man. Most importantly, he was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. Gayle and I will keep Barbara, Rich Jr. and the many people who loved Rich in our prayers as they mourn this tragic loss.”