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Bren Riley comments on the death of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka was 72. A cause of death wasn’t immediately provided.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

Alabama AFL-CIO President Bren Riley on Thursday commented on the death of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka at 72.

The cause of death was not immediately announced, according to CNN, although Politico reported it may have been a heart attack.

Trumka was the son of a coal miner, who went on to work in the mines himself before becoming an attorney with the United Mine Workers of America union’s Washington office after law school, CNN reported. 

Below is Riley’s statement in full: 

“Today the working people of Alabama and all of America have lost a champion. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka worked tirelessly each and every day to better the lives and livelihoods of America’s workers,” Riley said. “He was a fearless defender of our rights to organize and collectively bargain, whether here in the south or on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

“In fact, Alabama’s labor movement had the privilege of a lifetime to hear remarks from him recorded and played just last night at a rally for the striking Warrior Met Coal workers in Brookwood.

“Working people are not going to cave or capitulate!’ he said. ‘We’re not going to give in or give up. We will prevail. One day longer. One day stronger. We are one!’

“Because, you see, the thing with Rich is that there was not a day in his life where it was about him—rather, it was always ‘we.’ ‘Us.’ ‘Workers.’  I take comfort in the power of his words, and know I will carry them with me for the rest of my life: 

“We are going to miss him dearly, and our deepest condolences go out to Rich’s family, friends, and loved ones in this extraordinarily difficult time. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that every day going forward, Alabama’s working people are going to do everything in our power to live up to his truly remarkable legacy.”

Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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