For Immediate Release: 
October 26, 2021
Contact Info: 
Margaret Mulkerrin 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered remarks on the House Floor today during a Special Order hour honoring the life and legacy of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery and a link to the video:
Click here for the full video.

“Richard Trumka walked with the weight of America’s workers on his shoulders.  He carried them with him, always in his mind and in his soul.  His life was devoted to the labor movement and to each and every worker who was a part of it.  His loss is a grievous one for our country, and he leaves behind a legacy for which we can all be grateful.

“Thanks to Mr. Trumka, workers across the United States today have stronger representation and safer working conditions. 12.5 million union members and countless others have looked up to him for decades as a force for positive change and an unrivaled leader in the labor movement. 

“Few people epitomized the ideals of the workers’ rights movement, which are also core values of the Democratic Party, in the way Mr. Trumka did.  Those, of course, are the determination that everyone who works hard ought to be able to get ahead and that working families ought to be able to access opportunities and economic security.

“From the beginning of his career, first as a coal miner and then as President of the United Mine Workers of America, he was committed to forging closer ties between workers and their union representatives.  He knew that union action was the greatest tool available to achieve labor reforms and to make economic security more attainable for workers and their families.  
“As American workers continue to face new challenges as a result of the pandemic, it is essential that policymakers continue to work closely with organized labor.  The COVID-19 pandemic has placed so many of our workers and their families in situations dangerous to their health and also to their economic well-being.  Now more than ever, workers need champions for their rights, their fair wages, and their fair benefits.  We need to ensure that workers continue to have a strong voice in Congress, and we need to do everything we can to keep them and their families safe and able to access opportunities.  
“In his last major speech, Mr. Trumka told Texas AFL-CIO members that inequality is the greatest threat to democracy.  He said: ‘Without the right to vote and without the right to organize, there is no democracy.’  Our Democratic House Majority will not waver in our work to secure both for America’s workers.

“We look forward to working just as closely with Liz Shuler, who made history this summer by succeeding Mr. Trumka as the first woman to lead the AFL-CIO.  She’s worked alongside him for years, helping him realize his goals for the organization in its fight for workers’ rights in this country. 

“Richard Trumka’s vision for the future was one of dignity and justice for all working Americans.  We remain committed to that vision and will continue to honor his memory by fighting to realize his dream for all working Americans. 

“God bless you, Richard Trumka, and may He keep your family in the hollow of His hand."