WASHINGTON DC — Global Labor Justice-International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-IRLF), our staff, and our allied unions and community organizations around the globe mourn the loss of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
As a third-generation miner and son of immigrant parents, President Trumka often publicly called on that experience as he defended important positions for working people and unions in the U.S. and around the world.
During his term as President of the United Mineworkers of America, he met South African miners challenging the South African Apartheid regime. He helped organize the U.S. Shell Boycott in solidarity with them, later earning the 1990 Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award from the Institute for Policy Studies in recognition of these efforts.
President Trumka also led the AFL-CIO in supporting the labor movements of Tunisia, Egypt, and Bahrain during the Arab Spring, recognizing the role that these trade unions played in challenging corporate power and government impunity and in ensuring meaningful worker protections in the 2018 U.S. Mexico Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA).