Richard Trumka is president of the 12.5 million-member American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the largest organization of labor unions in the United States. He is an outspoken advocate for social and economic justice. He heads the labor movement’s efforts to create an economy based on broadly shared prosperity and to hold government and employers accountable to working families.
Elected president of the federation in 2009, Trumka shapes the economy in two primary ways—by leading the mobilization of masses of working people through a nationwide network of state and local labor federations, and by working one on one with government executives, legislators and business leaders. The goal is adopting progressive, pro-worker laws and policies at every level to improve life for working families.
He has devoted his career to improving workers’ lives through a strong collective voice on the job. His leadership is focused on union organizing and collective bargaining, as well as the federation’s advocacy for labor law reform in Congress.
Trumka has engaged in extensive corporate accountability work, including his determination to see Wall Street reformed.
Under Trumka’s leadership, the AFL-CIO also has revamped its political program.
Trumka’s commitment to improving life for working people began early. He grew up in Pennsylvania coal country. Nearly all of the men in his family, including his father and grandfather, were coal miners. Trumka followed them into the mines, working there as he attended Penn State and then Villanova University law school.
As Trumka looks forward, he envisions an economy of shared prosperity that works for all working families—an economy of rising wages, equal pay, respect at work, safe jobs, secure retirement, and the freedom to form or join unions and bargain collectively. He knows what it will take to get there: solidarity and commitment.