Richard Trumka, head of powerful AFL-CIO union, has died

A cause of death was not immediately announced.

“Rich Trumka devoted his life to working people, from his early days as president of the United Mine Workers of America to his unparalleled leadership as the voice of America’s labor movement,” AFL-CIO Communications Director Tim Schlittner said in a statement. “He was a relentless champion of workers’ rights, workplace safety, worker-centered trade, democracy and so much more. He was also a devoted father, grandfather, husband, brother, coach, colleague and friend.”

“I rise today with some sad, some horrible, news about the passing of a great friend, Rich Trumka, who left us this morning,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the floor of the Senate, his voice breaking as he patted the lectern to compose himself. “The working people of America have lost a fierce warrior at a time when we needed him most.”

“Rich Trumka was the working people of America,” he said, adding, “I wanted to inform my colleagues that we have just lost a giant, and we need him so.”

President Joe Biden also addressed Trumka’s passing at the White House on Thursday.

Trumka had led the AFL-CIO as president since 2009.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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