Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Steven A. Tolman on the Passing of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

“This morning, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 72. 

This is an extraordinarily sad day for our movement and for every worker in our nation. We stand in solidarity and grief with workers everywhere as we mourn his loss. 

Rich Trumka spent every day of his life fighting tirelessly to ensure all workers have dignity and respect on the job. He was a dear friend, a fierceless leader, and a champion for our movement. 

His impact on Massachusetts’ working people cannot be understated. He stood with us, his support unwavering, during our historic Stop & Shop strike in 2019 and so many other important fights over the years. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, he led his movement through unprecedented times. And most recently, he helped elect the most pro-union president of our lifetime, who then appointed Boston’s own champion for working people as Secretary of Labor. Trumka knew, more than anyone I’ve ever known, the power of collective bargaining and the importance of the union difference.” 

He is a lion of labor, and we will miss him so dearly. And as our fight continues, we will carry the strength of his spirit with us. We will never forget him.

### 

Image Credit: Alex Brandon/Associated Press

On behalf of our 500,000 members across the Commonwealth, we are sad to learn of the passing of Joseph C. Faherty, who served as president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO from 1990-1998. Mr.

The AFL-CIO Executive Council today elected Liz Shuler, a visionary leader and longtime trade unionist, to serve as president of the federation of 56 unions and 12.5 million members. Shuler is the first woman to hold the office in the history of the labor federation. The Executive Council also elected United Steelworkers (USW) International Vice President Fred Redmond to succeed Shuler as secretary-treasurer, the first African American to hold the number two office. Tefere Gebre will continue as executive vice president, rounding out the most diverse team of officers ever to lead the AFL-CIO.

Our brother and leader Richard Trumka passed away on August 5, 2021, at the age of 72.

Lisa Pedersen of Revere, Massachusetts, has been a United Steelworkers (USW) member for 34 years. As “the first girl in [her] area” when she started as a gas leak investigator and repair person for the National Grid, Pedersen is used to being a leader. She is now a “working leader” at the National Grid, and her union loyalty and leadership instincts have particularly shone during the past couple of years.

Today, the AFL-CIO and GBAO released a nationwide poll of registered voters that found more than three-quarters of Americans support workers’ efforts to organize a union at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. The findings come days after voting closed in the organizing drive and demonstrate a significant rise in public support.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey today issued a statement in response to a decision from Suffolk Superior Court Judge Kenneth W.

Statement from the Massachusetts AFL-CIO after Suffolk Superior Court Judge Kenneth W. Salinger denied Uber and Lyft’s motion to dismiss Attorney General Maura Healey's lawsuit seeking a court ruling that drivers are employees under Massachusetts Wage and Hour Laws:

“This suite of target date CIT funds is a welcome addition to the lineup of financial products which carry the AFL-CIO name,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Defined benefit plans remain the bedrock of a secure retirement. However, the Labor Movement’s philosophy that all Americans are entitled to retire with dignity and financial security dictates that we must also ensure that defined contribution investors’ interests are protected. This product provides a cost-effective solution that brings this proposition to life.

“Millions of workers still do not have the strong COVID-19 protections they need to be safe at work. Marty Walsh’s strong leadership will be needed to urgently issue a strong, comprehensive OSHA COVID-19 emergency temporary standard to set workplace safety rules, accompanied by strong enforcement to ensure workers are protected,” said Rebecca Reindel, the AFL-CIO’s safety and health director. Reindel said new rules and strong enforcement are “essential to President Biden’s promise to protect workers from COVID-19.”

“President Biden’s nomination of Mayor Marty Walsh demonstrates his promise to be the “strongest labor president” in American history. A union member and labor leader himself, Marty Walsh understands that the best way to end income inequality and grow the middle class is to give more workers the right to form a union and collectively bargain.  Just like President Biden, whether it was in the State House or in the corner office, Mayor Walsh knows how to work with people to get things done.

An important meeting was held Thursday at the White House as the first female vice president, Kamala Harris, gathered with women labor leaders. The vice president called together the small group to discuss tackling the pandemic, creating an equitable recovery and getting women back to work.