IBEW 1837 Members from Maine and New Hampshire Invited to Hear Rich Trumka

June 9, 2008 UPDATE- Richard Trumka's appearance at this weekend's Maine AFL-CIO COPE Convention has been cancelled, but there will still be a Labor-to-Labor Walk on Saturday morning, June 14, leaving from the Wyndam Hotel in South Portland. All IBEW 1837 members are encouraged to participate. For additional information, please call the Union Office.

Formerly a three-term president of the United Mine Workers, Trumka currently serves in the top leadership of the national AFL-CIO. The talk will be at the Wyndham Hotel, 363 Maine Mall Road in South Portland (formerly the Sheraton Hotel, the two round buildings across from the Maine Mall).

Trumka is sure to address labor issues of interest to union members in either state. The talk is expected to last about an hour.

Following the talk, some members will join Trumka on a "Labor to Labor" walk in the Portland area to discuss issues and the upcoming election with union members at their homes. Members are welcome to attend the talk even if they cannot participate in the walk.

Richard L. Trumka was re-elected to a fourth term as Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO in July 2005. He was first elected in 1995, the youngest secretary-treasurer in AFL-CIO history, as part of an insurgent campaign to reinvigorate the American labor movement.

Trumka led the creation in 1997 of the AFL-CIO Capital Stewardship Program, which works to ensure that workers’ deferred wages are wisely invested to provide the best long-term benefits to America’s working families. AFL-CIO member unions sponsor pension and benefit plans with more than $400 billion in assets and are a major force in the global capital markets. Under Trumka’s leadership, the AFL-CIO Capital Stewardship Program promotes corporate governance reform, investment manager accountability, pro-worker investment strategies, international pension fund cooperation and trustee education and support.

As a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council, Trumka is chair of its Strategic Approaches Committee, charged with assisting affiliated unions that seek assistance in achieving their strategic goals through collective bargaining. He also chairs the AFL-CIO Finance Committee, the Industrial Union Council, the Committee on Article XX Appeals and the AFL-CIO Capital Stewardship Committee.

At the time of his 1995 election, Trumka was serving his third term as president of the United Mine Workers of America. During his tenure as UMWA president, Trumka led the union in two major strikes against the nation’s coal companies—actions that resulted in significant advances in employer-employee cooperation and enhanced mine workers’ job security, pensions and benefits.

A member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council since 1989, Trumka was instrumental in developing tactics to rally the support of international labor on behalf of U.S. workers struggling for workplace justice against multinational conglomerates. He also served on the executive boards of the International Miners’ Federation and the ICFTU and played a key role in organizing a new global coalition of coal miners’ unions in five countries.

Trumka, a third-generation coal miner, was born July 24, 1949 in Nemacolin, Penn.  He began working in the mines at age 19. As a member of UMWA Local 6290, he served as chairman of the safety committee. He soon became an activist in the Miners for Democracy reform movement.

He is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University and holds a law degree from Villanova University Law School. He served four years on the legal staff of the UMWA during the reform administration of Arnold Miller, returning to work in the mines in 1978. Subsequently, he was elected to the union’s executive board in 1981 and first elected international president in 1982. Since 1995, he has served as President Emeritus of the United Mine Workers of America.

Among the many awards Trumka has received are the Gompers/Murray/Meany Award from the Massachusetts AFL-CIO and the Labor Responsibility Award from the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in 1990.  In 1996 he received The Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Award for his outstanding commitment to the American labor movement, the nation and to the State of Israel.  The Sons of Italy Foundation with its 2003 Humanitarian Award also honored him.

For more information, contact Matt Beck in the union office at 207-623-1030.