Rest in Power Richard L. Trumka 1949-2021

The labor movement lost a strong leader this week. The Maine AFL-CIO joins unions and workers around the country mourning Rich Trumka, president of the national AFL-CIO.

Rich was a deeply committed fighter for dignity, rights and flourishing of workers. This came through in everything he did 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. Rich loved workers. And he knew there was nothing more powerful than workers standing together for a better life. His path doing just that led him to become president of the national AFL-CIO in 2009.

If you ever got to see Rich at a rally or on a picket line, his face would light up with excitement and hope. He never forgot who he was working and fighting for and with. America’s working people were his guiding light for more than 50 years.

He also understood the importance of the power of a unified labor movement. At the 2017 AFL-CIO Convention in which leaders and members of the Maine AFL-CIO participated, he reminded us: “That’s what our movement has always been about—we’re in this movement for workers and our families. That’s why I fought for a better and more secure life for coal miners and why I ran for office. It is what drives me today.  Our labor movement is more unified, more focused, more fiscally sound…because of the work we’ve done together. Now we’re ready to write the next chapter. Because no matter what we hear from the naysayers, we ain’t done yet.”

That’s right Rich. We ain’t done yet. With your spirit marching beside us we will move on in solidarity into this next chapter, stronger because of where you’ve led us, and committed to building even stronger yet.