By David Shepardson and Makini Brice WASHINGTON (Reuters) -AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, head of the largest U.S. labor organization and a key figure in Democratic politics who voiced concern about corporate power and a growing income gap between rich and poor, has died at age 72, the group said on Thursday.
President Joe Biden, a Democrat, told reporters at the White House that Trumka was a “great close personal friend” and said the labor leader had been on a camping trip with his grandsons before he died. A source told Reuters that Trumka died of a heart attack.
Trumka, a third-generation coal miner from Nemacolin, Pennsylvania, began working in the mines at age 19, and became president of the AFL-CIO, a federation of 56 unions representing 12.5 million workers, in 2009.
Trumka told Reuters in a 2019 interview that workers wanted to take power back from companies that had too much power.
“Corporations now have more rights than people. Not equal rights, more rights,” Trumka said.
“Over the last 20 years, the top one percent has accumulated $21 trillion in wealth and the bottom 50 percent has lost $900 billion in wealth. The inequality gap grows and grows. That’s putting us on a trajectory for an implosion of the system,” Trumka added… Read More