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UMWA endorses Richard L. Trumka for AFL-CIO President

June 8, 2009
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The International Executive Board of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) today unanimously endorsed Richard L. Trumka for President of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

“We are extremely proud to make this endorsement,” UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said. “And not just because Rich is a former president of our union, but more importantly, because he is the right leader for America’s workers at this critical time in our nation’s history.

“Just as other UMWA leaders–like John L. Lewis, Philip Murray and William Green–went on to become successful leaders of America’s labor movement, we are certain that Rich Trumka will too,” Roberts said. “He is from that same mold of forceful, thoughtful and dynamic leaders who are unafraid to stand up to the powerful while fighting on behalf of working families.”

Trumka served as UMWA President from 1982 to 1995 before being elected as Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO.

“I have known Rich Trumka for 35 years, and am privileged to call him my friend,” Roberts said. “His strong leadership of the UMWA was marked by tremendous and successful fights to improve mine health and safety and reduce the scourge of black lung. His leadership during the Pittston strike in 1989-1990 saved the health care benefits for active and retired workers, not just in the coalfields, but in workplaces across the nation as well.

“Rich has done an outstanding job as AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer,” UMWA International Secretary-Treasurer Dan Kane said. “There is no more capable leader for our movement, and we in the UMWA are looking forward to his leadership of the AFL-CIO.”

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