AUGUSTA — Senate President Jackson Troy Jackson of Allagash released the following statement on the passing of AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka, a third-generation coal miner and lifelong labor leader:
“The passing of President Richard L. Trumka is a profound loss for working men and women all across this country. He was a true champion for all working people – a man of not just words but action. His unparalleled commitment to the safety, dignity and rights of working people changed lives.
“As a third-generation coal miner, President Trumka was all too familiar with the struggles of the working class, watching his father go to work every day in the mines as a kid and then following in his footsteps as an adult. Much like logging, mining can be dangerous work — it takes a toll on you physically and mentally. It’s probably what fueled his fervent belief in the spirit of workers and their ability to change the status quo for everyone. He understood that there was real power in ordinary people standing together in solitary and demanding change. And he led by example.
“As someone who has been in this fight a long time, I know that you often experience more losses than gains but eventually you make ground. President Trumka never let himself get bogged down by the losses, he never wallowed in defeat or veered off track. Instead, he remained focused on improving the lives of working people, never giving up or backing down right up until the end.
“My heart goes out to his loved ones during this difficult time. I hope they take comfort knowing that workers all across the country, regardless of background or industry, join them in their grief. I know his memory and legacy will live on as we — his union brothers and sisters — continue fighting to improve the lives of working families, and I hope we make him proud. Solidarity for all wasn’t just his message, it was how he lived his life. And we could all learn from him.”