Washington, D.C. (August 5, 2021) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement today:
I was shocked and saddened by the death of my friend and brother, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. The world has lost a true working-class warrior, a prophetic voice for justice, and a champion of the powerless and the dispossessed. A third-generation coal miner who became the youngest leader of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), Rich never forgot where he came from, never forgot the value of hard work and those who do it, and knew that working people, from mine workers to Laborers to everyone who toils for an hourly wage, are the greatest asset of our nation and our world. He will go down as one of the great leaders in labor history.
Working with Richard Trumka was one of the highlights of my career in the Labor Movement. Whether pushing for greater infrastructure funding, calling for greater workplace safety, advocating for comprehensive immigration reform, standing up for racial justice, or turning out the vote to elect President Biden and Vice-President Harris, Rich was always smart, strategic, tough, and tenacious. The impact of his career, his life, and his legacy will be felt for decades to come, not only by the countless working men and women whose lives he helped improve, but by the next generation of labor leaders for whom he served, and continues to serve, as a role model and inspiration.
On behalf of the 500,000 proud, strong, and united men and women of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), I offer my sympathy and condolences to the entire Trumka family. While Rich’s life ended far too soon, he will live on in the cherished memories of all those who knew and worked with him.
The half-million members of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – are on the forefront of the construction industry, a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build the United States and Canada.