The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions sends messages of condolences to the United States trade union movement with the death of President Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO (The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organization) the sister organisation of the NZCTU.
"Trumka was a powerhouse, he dedicated his life to improve the working lives of people working in the United States. His sudden and unexpected death is shocking for the international trade union movement," CTU President Richard Wagstaff.
Trumka had been president of the AFL-CIO, a group of more than 50 unions representing 12.5 million members, since 2009. A third-generation coal miner who rose to power through the United Mine Workers, Trumka had become one of the most powerful labor leaders in the country and a key ally of Democrats in Washington, having worked in some capacity with every Democratic White House the last 30 years.
"Trumka’s leadership and vision for a better future for working people in the United States was an inspiration. He will missed throughout the international trade union movement," Wagstaff said.