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Univestiy of Iowa Labor Center
100 Oakdale Campus, M210 OH
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-4144, fax (319) 335-4464

Release: Oct. 15, 2001

EDITOR'S NOTE: A press conference for Trumka will be from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 25, at the Radisson Hotel Celebrity Conference Room, 2525 N. Dodge Street, Iowa City, Iowa. Working journalists are invited to attend.

Richard Trumka, National Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO, speaks Oct. 25 at UI

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- National Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO, Richard L. Trumka, will give a public lecture at the University of Iowa as part of the University of Iowa Labor Center's "Advanced Union Leadership School." The lecture is free and open to the public.

Trumka's lecture, entitled, "The American Labor Movement: Challenges and Opportunities," will be at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 25 in the Richey Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union (corner of Jefferson and Madison Streets), on the University of Iowa campus.

Trumka will address the AFL-CIO's revitalized organizing effort, saying how it emphasizes strengthening working families by enabling more workers to join together in unions, building a stronger political voice for working families, providing a new voice for workers in the global economy and creating a more effective voice for working families in communities across the country.

He will also assert that workers' organizing efforts have been thwarted by employer campaigns of coercion, firings and harassment, by unfair trade policies that favor global corporations over workers' rights and the environment, and by the failure of government here and abroad to give priority to the needs of working women and men over the needs of the wealthy and powerful.

Trumka will also discuss how the Sept. 11 bombings (and the subsequent U.S. response) impact organized labor's domestic efforts to promote economic justice and pro-worker policies, such as raising the minimum wage, strengthening social security, liberalizing immigration policies, defeating "FAST Track" trade legislation, enacting an ergonomics standard and increasing unemployment and job training benefits to laid off workers.

A third-generation coal miner from Nemacolin, Pa., Trumka began working in the mines at age 19 and soon after became a union activist in his local union. Elected national president of the United Mine Workers of America in 1982, Trumka is well known for leading two of the most sophisticated union campaigns in American labor history, the strike against the Pittston Coal Company in 1989 and the Bituminous Coal Operators Association in 1993 -- that resulted in significant advances in mine workers' job security, pensions and benefits.

Elected as national Secretary-Treasurer of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) in 1995 at the age of 46, Trumka is now part of the top leadership of one of the largest labor organizations in the world representing over 13 million working women and men nationwide through the voluntary federation of 64 national and international unions.