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We mourn Richard Trumka, and will fight in his memory

Stuart Appelbaum, President, RWDSU
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The world lost a tireless fighter for working people on Aug. 5, when AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka passed away. At the RWDSU, we often saw first-hand the dedication of a man who was willing to go toe to toe with anybody if it meant defending the rights of working people and creating a fairer and more equitable society where all of us have our voices heard, not just the wealthiest and most powerful. 

After being elected president of the AFL-CIO in 2011, Rich’s first trip to New York was to stand with RWDSU members at the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx to demand living wages, especially at projects funded with taxpayer money. In Williamson, New York, he was there on the front lines to stand side-by-side with hundreds of striking RWDSU members at the Mott’s applesauce plant. Richard Trumka’s vocal support helped the workers win their strike against a corporate employer that was trying to slash wages and benefits despite enjoying record profits.

Richard Trumka joined the RWDSU in taking on Amazon in Bessemer, Alabama, standing with the courageous workers there who are trying to organize a union in the face of Amazon’s unlimited resources and willingness to break labor law to destroy their campaign. He was always there to answer the bell, no matter how big or small the fight when it came to workers’ rights. He was a visionary and an inspirational leader.

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