United States

Richard Trumka


05/08/2021 - Statement from OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann

It is with great sadness that I learned of the unexpected passing of Richard Trumka, the long serving President of our OECD Trade Union Advisory Committee.

Richard dedicated his life to advancing the interests of working people.

From starting his own working life as a third generation coal miner to rising to one of the most senior union leadership positions globally - his lifelong service and contribution as a passionate, determined and highly effective voice for workers’ rights is truly inspirational.

I got to know Richard over the past year as a straight talking no nonsense guy who never left you in any doubt about where he stood.

Richard made a significant contribution to our work at the OECD, including by engaging constructively with business, but always focused on improving the economic and social wellbeing of workers everywhere.

He truly understood the value of engaging with the OECD and its central role to public policy making.

He always took his responsibility to scrutinise and challenge our work very seriously, but was also unequivocally a reliable friend and strong supporter of the OECD and our role in developing better policies for better lives.

During our last face to face catch up in Washington just a few weeks ago we were discussing ways to make the economic recovery and trade work better for all. We were meant to continue the conversation at our Ministerial Council Meeting in October.

My sincere condolences to his family, his friends and all his colleagues in the Union movement worldwide who mourn his loss.


Working with over 100 countries, the OECD is a global policy forum that promotes policies to preserve individual liberty and improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.


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