It is with great sadness that the staff and Board of Directors of the National Endowment for Democracy learned today of the death of Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO and chair of the Board of Trustees of the Solidarity Center.
“The passing of Richard Trumka is a loss not just for America’s workers, but for workers worldwide who fight for safe workplaces and the democratic right to organize,” said NED president Damon Wilson. “The entire NED family is grateful for Rich’s unflagging commitment to improving the lives of workers everywhere and for supporting the right to independent organizing of trade unions, which are essential to healthy democracies.”
Trumka, the former leader of the United Mine Workers, has led the AFL-CIO since 2009. He was a stalwart supporter of the work of NED’s labor institute, the Solidarity Center, and of the broader work of NED to support the values and institutions of democracy. Through the Solidarity Center, the Endowment supports the development and efforts of independent trade unions worldwide.
At a 2019 NED event to mark the anniversary of Poland’s democratic breakthrough, Trumka said, “Let us be unmistakable champions for the dignity of every human being, and let’s bring freedom to every country on every continent—real freedom [with] free press, free speech, free elections, and the freedom to form a union.”
NED extends its deepest sympathy to the Trumka family and to all our colleagues in the labor movement, who have lost a true friend and champion.