Biden awards Medal of Freedom to Trumka


WASHINGTON (PAI)—In recognition of his long service to and advocacy for workers and unions, President Joe Biden awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the late AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, 11 months after Trumka’s unexpected death.

Biden praised Trumka as “an outspoken advocate for economic and social justice.”

Trumka’s family accepted the medal at a White House ceremony July 7. Biden also awarded 16 other people the nation’s highest civilian honor. Trumka is the third longtime AFL-CIO president to receive the medal, after Lane Kirkland and John J. Sweeney.

“These 17 Americans demonstrate the power of possibilities and embody the soul of the nation – hard work, perseverance, and faith,” Biden said. “They have overcome significant obstacles to achieve impressive accomplishments in the arts and sciences, dedicated their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable among us, and acted with bravery to drive change in their communities – and across the world – while blazing trails for generations to come.”

Before succeeding Sweeney, whom he served as secretary-treasurer, Trumka was the activist president of the United Mine Workers. Current UMW President Cecil Roberts was Trumka’s secretary-treasurer at the time.

“This award could not go to a more deserving person,” Roberts said. “Richard Trumka rose from a coal camp to become the leader of the nation’s Labor Movement. He made a profound impact on the lives of millions of coal miners and other workers throughout his life, and this recognition is well deserved.”



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here