On behalf of AFT-Maryland, I offer condolences to the Trumka and entire AFL-CIO family on the passing of Richard Trumka. Mr. Trumka served at the helm of the AFL-CIO for nearly 12 years, leading with concern and care for every worker in the United States. His leadership on behalf of the working people in this country has been well documented and will continue to be in the days to come as people all over the world eulogize him.
In addition to his commitment to fighting for working people on domestic economic issues, he was also a champion seeking to build bridges across cultural and ethnic divides. The history of labor has not always welcomed diversity, but Mr. Trumka's support of mine workers in South Africa fighting against apartheid and his commitment to aid immigrant workers here in the United States are just two examples of his commitment to diversity. His leadership was a welcomed pivot from some of the exclusionary and xenophobic practices of labor decades ago.
Mr. Trumka modeled what labor leadership in the 21st century should look like. He possessed a concern for the entire being of the worker. Worrying about more than just worker wages, he wanted the best possible quality of life for all Americans. His sudden passing saddens us all in the labor community and our hearts go out to his family in their time of mourning.