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.

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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.

The developers of a train that would travel nearly half the speed of sound and get passengers from New York to Washington, D.C., in about an hour signed a memorandum of understanding to only use union labor on the project.

Under the agreement, all work on the project will be done by members of unions that form the building trades, including the IBEW. In return, the unions commit to active involvement in bringing the project to fruition said Kirk Brungard, executive director of the Baltimore-D.C. Building Trades.

A decade ago or so, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center and the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimated that making the Bush tax cuts permanent — rather than letting them expire in 2010 — would increase the after-tax income of people earning $1 million or more up to 7 percent, an order of magnitude more than it would increase the size of the economy in the long term.

These days, it’s hard to keep straight all of Congress’ efforts to build plutocracy — the further consolidation of the power of the richest Americans at the expense of the rest of us. 

With the Senate passing a multi-trillion dollar job-killing giveaway of our tax dollars to the people and companies who need it least, you might have missed the bill moving through the Senate to deregulate Wall Street and consumer finance. 

As National Apprenticeship Week kicks off, a new report from the Working for America Institute and Jobs With Justice Education Fund profiles a Washington state apprenticeship program as a successful example of a workforce intermediary partnership. These partnerships bring together unions and employers to recruit, train, and diversify the workforce for a given industry or a specific employer.

As a pillar of the Democratic Party, unions have wanted for years to see mainstream Democrats push for major reforms to the law that would rejuvenate the ranks of organized labor. At the press conference Wednesday, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka applauded the proposals, but also emphasized that many Democrats have taken their union support for granted.

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“The top goal of our 2017 strategic plan was unity,” declared President Steven Tolman, “and this past year we came together like few times in our history.”

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