WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm issued the following statement today on the passing of AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka.
"I am heartbroken to learn about the passing of my dear friend, Rich Trumka. Today, workers across America have lost a giant—someone who dedicated his life to increasing opportunities for every worker from every background.
"For nearly 40 years, Rich’s leadership has re-galvanized and redefined the modern American labor movement. The successful strikes he led at United Mine Workers of America had ripple effects across industries and showed the power of organized labor. His efforts changed the way we hold businesses accountable for pay equity.
"And his commitment to fighting for workers couldn’t be constrained by borders. He rallied international solidarity with South African mine workers struggling against the racist apartheid system, for which he won a human rights award.
"Rich holds a special place in my heart for helping Michigan auto workers get back on their feet during the time I was governor. He showed deep compassion for the hard working Michiganders who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. And in my time as Secretary of Energy, he has been an invaluable partner and confidant as we’ve worked to create new opportunities for American workers in the clean energy economy.
"Because of Rich, workers are rising in America. May his memory be a reminder of just how big of a difference one person can make in this world. He will be incredibly missed by all who knew him and benefitted from his work."