WASHINGTON – Ambassador Katherine Tai released the following statement after the passing of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:
“Richard Trumka was a champion for American workers and the embodiment of the strength and resilience of the labor movement. This moment of great loss calls for a reflection on his incredible legacy.
“The story of Richard Trumka begins in the coal mines of southwest Pennsylvania and goes through the halls of Congress and the Oval Office. As the son and grandson of coal miners, he learned from an early age how unions represent the backbone of our communities. He knew that everyone deserved to have dignity in their profession, and understood the importance of a decent wage, no matter what they do.
“As president of the 12.5 million-member AFL-CIO, he was one of the most important labor leaders in our country’s history. As an advocate for international labor rights and immigration reform, he provided a voice for millions around the world.
“I had the pleasure of working with President Trumka throughout my career. His personal invitation to me to lay out our vision for a worker-centered trade policy at the AFL-CIO’s headquarters was a great honor and privilege. He was a vocal supporter of our policy – and for the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader economic vision that lifts up our workers.
“The strength of a movement is defined by how it lives on after its leaders are no longer with us. At every opportunity, President Trumka reminded us how we can never forget the workers in communities like Nemacolin that are counting on us to deliver equitable and inclusive policies. We will carry his vision forward as we develop a new trade policy that champions everyone, starting with our workers.
“On behalf of the entire team at the Office of the United States Trade Representative, I offer our sincerest condolences to President Trumka’s loved ones and the AFL-CIO family.”