05 August 2021
Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO and of the TUAC passed away on the 5 August 2021. Next to his immense contributions to the American labour movement, his leadership was quintessential for the global labour movement. In his role as TUAC’s president since 2010, he brought a straightforward and powerful labour voice to the OECD and beyond.
“Rich was a trade union leader who truly understood the value of engaging with the OECD, and of ensuring a labour voice in international forums,” said Pierre Habbard, General Secretary of TUAC. “He was a leader in the true sense of the term and his voice and leadership will be profoundly missed.”
Among others, Richard Trumka advocated relentlessly to bring inequality and social justice matters at the centre of OECD thinking, and to bring collective solutions for working families – with trade unions and collective bargaining at the helm. He coined the term “Monday versus Tuesday OECD” to expose the contradictory recommendations of the Organisation and the need to take inequality matters seriously in public policy making:
“If the future is not going to be grim both economically and politically, change in the workplace, within industries, nationwide, must be bargained, and bargained collectively (…) The implications for the OECD are this: stop with recommendations that weaken collective bargaining, lower the minimum wage and weakens unemployment insurance, and stop with the double standard where the OECD refers to the employer community and the investor community, but then talks about solutions for workers as if we can make it on our own as isolated individuals”.
Richard Trumka, TUAC-OECD Liaison Committee Meeting, December 2017