NEW YORK, July 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The International Longshoremen's Association, AFL-CIO today announced its endorsement of Richard Trumka for president of the American Federation of Labor, Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), according to an announcement by ILA President Richard P. Hughes, Jr. The AFL-CIO will hold elections for president at its convention scheduled for this September in Pittsburgh and current president John Sweeney has announced his retirement.
"The ILA is proud to endorse an outstanding champion for working families in America, Richard Trumka, for president of the AFL-CIO," said ILA President Hughes. "The ILA firmly believes Rich Trumka possesses the experience, the courage and fortitude to lead our national labor movement."
The ILA president said Richard Trumka, who has served as Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO since 1995 and is the former president of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), will bring a strong, progressive voice to the leadership of the labor federation.
"Rich Trumka is no stranger to the ILA and has championed our causes for a number of years," said ILA President Hughes. "He has made himself available to meet with us, including delivering a major address at our 2003 International Convention, and joining us this past March as we welcomed our new U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to our ILA Local 1416 in Miami."
Just recently, Richard Trumka and Richard Hughes were together on a picket line in Atlantic City, New Jersey, joining New Jersey AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech and hundreds of union members protesting on behalf of casino dealers.
A third-generation coal miner, Trumka came up through the ranks of the UMWA. He started working in the mines at age 19. Years later, after finishing law school and returning to work for the union at the local and district levels, he was elected UMWA president in 1982. He led the Mine Workers through difficult strikes which preserved the membership's strength and livelihood.
ILA President Hughes has served as a Vice President of the AFL-CIO Executive Board for the past two years working closely with Secretary-Treasurer Trumka on a number of projects and campaigns.
"Rich Trumka enjoys the respect and admiration of America's Labor Movement and will serve America's working men and women with distinction," said Mr. Hughes.
SOURCE International Longshoremen's Association, AFL-CIO