LOS ANGELES –  Please attribute the following statement on the death of longtime AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka to Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund:

“MALDEF sends our condolences to the family of Richard Trumka and to all of his friends and colleagues at the AFL-CIO.  Together with the entire nation, we mourn the passing of such a committed champion of working people; he leaves a void that we must all strive to fill in ensuring that the United States remains a nation of opportunity and of fairness to all hardworking people.

“We were fortunate to have Trumka working in his position throughout all four years of the deeply troubling Trump administration, but we continue to need his efforts as we rebuild and repair our nation.

“As the son of two union members, I appreciated from a young age how important organized labor has been in protecting so many Latino families.  Latinos now comprise one-fifth of our nation’s workforce, and an even higher proportion of workers in such crucial sectors as agriculture, construction, and service.  Latinos have been and are a critical and increasing element of the corps of working people who sustain our nation, and our future, as the future of the entire nation, is tied to continuing Trumka’s important leadership and advocacy.”