Statement by Vice President Kamala Harris on the Passing of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
Today, our nation lost a great leader. Richard L. Trumka was a champion of workers everywhere. As the President of the AFL-CIO, our nation’s largest federation of unions, he lived and breathed solidarity. Never afraid of a fight, Rich put the “strong” in “union strong.”
As a young boy, Rich saw firsthand the struggles his father and grandfather faced as they participated in mine workers’ strikes and negotiated for fairer pay and better working conditions. When he first told his grandfather that he’d like to become an attorney to stand up for workers’ rights, his grandfather replied, “If you want to help workers, you first need to help people.”
Rich was dedicated to helping people. He lived his beliefs. That work has dignity. That workers should be respected and have a voice. That justice and equality are hallmarks of a strong nation.
I was lucky to know Rich for many years, and I was always proud to work with him. Today, my thoughts and prayers are with Rich’s wife Barbara, their son Rich Jr., and their grandchildren Richard and Taylor.