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AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka dead at 72

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  • Richard Trumka
    American labor union leader
  • Joe Biden
    Joe Biden
    46th and current president of the United States
  • Chuck Schumer
    Chuck Schumer
    American politician

The president of the influential American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, Richard Trumka, unexpectedly died overnight.

AFL-CIO released an official statement shortly after several lawmakers and President Joe Biden paid homage to Trumka.

“The labor movement, the AFL-CIO and the nation lost a legend today," the organization stated in a press readout. "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."

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer fought back tears on the floor of the chamber on Thursday when making a brief address about Trumka's death, saying, "The working people of America have lost a fierce warrior at a time when we needed him most."

Trumka, 72, served as the president of the federation that represented over 12.5 million workers among 56 unions for more than 10 years and was a close ally of Biden's administration.

Biden, upon learning of Trumka's death, said the union leader was "more than the head of AFL-CIO" and was a "very close" friend. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland also spoke on his death tweeting, "We'll honor his legacy by continuing our work to create good-paying, union jobs in communities across the country."

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin too released a statement in mourning, saying that "he was a fierce advocate for working people and a truly decent man."

"He never forgot where he came from. He dedicated the rest of his career to fighting for America’s working men and women," Manchin said.

The AFL-CIO president died of what was believed to be a major heart attack, sources familiar with the situation first told Politico. It is unclear when he died, but sources believed it happened between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.

Workers for AFL-CIO were reportedly notified of his death on Thursday morning.

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"Standing on Rich’s shoulders, we will pour everything we have into building an economy, society and democracy that lifts up every working family and community," AFL-CIO added on Thursday.

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Tags: News, Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO, Labor, Unions, Economy

Original Author: Kaelan Deese

Original Location: AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka dead at 72

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