THE Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has extended its condolences to the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO) over the death of its president, Richard Trumka.
National Record had reported that Trumka died suddenly at the age of 72, on Thursday, August 5, 2021. AFL-CIO is the largest federation of unions in the US, made up of 55 national and international unions representing more than 12.5 million active and retired workers.
In a condolence message addressed to the Mr Liz Shuler, AFL-CIO Secretary, TUC President, Comrade Quadri Olaleye said the TUC received the news of Mr Tumka’s death with ‘rude shock’ adding that the global labour movement, AFL-CIO and the world at large have lost a legend “who rose from the coal mines of Pennsylvania to preside over one of the largest labour organizations in the world, the AFL-CIO.”
According to Comrade Olaleye, the late Trumka “was tough and combative, a throwback to an old guard of union leaders from the labour movement’s heydays” who emerged “in a distinctly different era, as union membership declined and labor struggled to retain political power.”
Below is the full statement:
“I convey compliments from the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) and write on behalf of the National Executive Council of Congress to commiserate with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO) over the death of your President, Comrade Richard Trumka.
“Congress received with rude shock the story of his demise, the labour movement; AFL-CIO and the World have indeed lost a legend, who rose from the coal mines of Pennsylvania to preside over one of the largest labour organizations in the world, the AFL-CIO.
“He was tough and combative, a throwback to an old guard of union leaders from the labour movement’s heydays. But he rose in a distinctly different era, as union membership declined and labor struggled to retain political power.
“Comrade Trumka devoted his life to working people, from his early days as president of the United Mine Workers of America to his unparalleled leadership as the voice of America’s labour movement; these qualities engendered him into national union politics as a youthful 33-year-old lawyer in 1982. Pledging the economically troubled union “shall rise again, and he indeed honored his pledge to the American working people.
“Comrade Trumka dedicated his life to the labour movement and the right to organize; this mark is indelible and will forever remain fresh in our minds.
“The working people of America have lost a fierce warrior at a time when they needed him most, who used his power to push for health care legislation, expanded workers’ rights and infrastructure spending.
“We are deeply saddened by the news of your irreplaceable loss. We pray God grant the American Working People, their families and his immediate family the strength and fortitude to bear this loss.
“While we convey our most sincere condolences in solidarity, please accept the assurances of our high regards.”