WASHINGTON — Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair Emeritus Rep Mark Pocan (WI-02), Vice Chair for Labor Rep. Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Deputy Whip Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-12), and Rep. Linda Sánchez (CA-38) issued the following statement following the death of Richard Trumka, long-time AFL-CIO President:

“Richard Trumka’s passing is a devastating loss for the labor movement, and for all of us in the fight for worker justice.

“As the son of a coal-mining family growing up in Southwestern Pennsylvania, Richard learned early and personally the importance of the struggle for worker dignity and solidarity. He followed the men of his family into the mines before attending college and law school, eventually becoming the youngest-ever president of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) at age 33. From that post, he led one of the most successful strikes against the Pittston Coal Company, securing health and pension benefits for UMWA’s members.

“Since becoming president of the AFL-CIO in 2009, Richard relentlessly championed the rights of the 12.5 million members in his care, and became a national leader in the work for social justice, economic justice, and immigrants’ rights. Under his leadership, the labor movement has galvanized renewed national attention and achieved some of the most significant policy wins in its history, including a nationwide movement to raise the wage that has secured increases in nearly half of states in the last five years, and a $15 minimum wage for hundreds of thousands of federal contractors. President Biden’s American Jobs and Families Plan codifies Richard’s influence with significant pro-worker policies across the economy. And in 2021, the House of Representatives passed the most substantial pro-worker legislation in history with the PRO Act, in partnership with the millions of union members Richard led.

“In Richard’s memory, and inspired by his formidable example, we will carry on the fight of his life: to build an economy that supports, not exploits, the working class. To hold the most powerful accountable for their treatment of working people. And to ensure that every worker can join a union, and have a say in their own lives.

“Our condolences are with Richard’s family, the AFL-CIO, and the broader progressive community at this heartbreaking time. May he rest in power.”