AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka dies at 72

AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka dies at 72
Veteran union leader championed anti-racist activism

The president of the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of trade unions in the US, has died at the age of 72.

Richard Trumka, whose career working for unions spanned several decades, died on Thursday. Politico reported that the cause of death was believed to be a heart attack.

Mr Trumka championed numerous progressive and labor-related causes over the years, but most notably won a human rights award from the Institute for Policy Studies for his support of striking mine workers in South Africa, who at the time were battling the country’s racist apartheid system.

He also stepped into the national spotlight in 2008 with a speech from the main stage of the Democratic National Convention in support of then-candidate Barack Obama and against what he said were racist forces working against Mr Obama’s campaign.

More to follow…