Climate Action

EARTHDAY.ORG Mourns the passing of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of Richard Trumka, a champion of working people in the United States who sought to promote a partnership between the labor movement and environmentalism. We will always be thankful for the time he took to speak on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. at the 40th anniversary of Earth Day’s Climate Rally.

Back then, Trumka spoke of the long history of environmentalism in the labor movement and how the organizers of the first Earth Day in 1970 sought the support of United Auto Workers President Walter Reuther. “What good is a dollar-an-hour more in wages if your neighborhood is burning down?” Ruther said. “What good is another week’s vacation if the lake you used to go to is polluted, and you can’t swim in it, and your kids can’t play in it?”

Throughout his tenure as the head of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka continued to highlight the need for a blue and green alliance that “must be pro-job and pro-environment.” He realized then that the twin problems of climate change and an endangered economy could not be separated and that in order to solve either problem, both must be addressed at the same time. He deeply believed in the future of green jobs.

EARTHDAY.ORG joins in with the rest of the labor and environmental communities in sending our condolences to the Trumka family. May we continue on the work that Richard Trumka stood for and believed in.

Photo credit for image at top: AFL-CIO