Flight Attendants Mourn Death of Richard Trumka

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 5, 2021) — The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO International President Sara Nelson, representing nearly 50,000 Flight Attendants at 17 airlines, released the following statement on the passing of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:

"The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO is shocked and saddened by the sudden death of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. Rich was a family man—a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He couldn't have been prouder of his son, grandson, his niece and her son, who he thought of as his own grandson. He would often show me pictures of his family and he spoke with pride that overflowed with love for them.

"Rich also saw working people as his extended family, and fought for all of us. From humble beginnings in the coal mines, Rich rose to the highest office in the Labor Movement. A friend to all workers, Rich will be forever remembered for his leadership of the United Mineworkers of America during the miners' winning strike against Pittston Coal.

"If he were still with us I believe Rich would echo the words of the great organizer of the UMWA, Mother Jones: "Mourn the dead, and fight like hell for the living." It is in that spirit that we vow to carry on his legacy, organizing and mobilizing workers. There is important unfinished work to do. Rich vowed to lead the movement until the PRO Act is signed into law. We must recommit ourselves as a movement to doing what is needed to achieve his mission for working people: a fair chance to survive and thrive.

"A united and strong labor movement can accomplish these important goals and much more. The very best way to honor Rich’s legacy is to fight back stronger than ever for American workers."


The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, (AFA) AFL-CIO represents nearly 50,000 Flight Attendants at 17 airlines. AFA is the union that has advanced the Flight Attendant profession for 75 years, beating back discrimination and improving wages, benefits, working conditions, and aviation safety, health and security in the aircraft cabin. AFA also partners with the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.

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