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Nation's Largest RN Union Endorses Trumka to Lead Labor as President of AFL-CIO

OAKLAND, Calif., June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee today endorsed Richard Trumka to lead the U.S. labor movement as the next President of American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

Trumka, the current AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer, would succeed retiring President John Sweeney. In statements today, leaders of the 86,000 member CNA/NNOC, the nation's largest RN union and professional association, praised both Trumka and Sweeney.

"Rich Trumka is a bold, strategic, and a fighting leader," said CNA/NNOC Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro, a national Vice-President of the AFL-CIO. "His uncommon and uncompromising spirit, and his passion for working people and social change are especially needed in this critical juncture for America's workers and unions."

"For the past two decades, America's nurses have not had a better friend and ally than Rich Trumka," said CNA Co-President Deborah Burger, RN.

"From his exceptional stewardship as a former President of the United Mine Workers to his current role in the AFL-CIO, Trumka has stood with nurses and patients in confronting the ravages of corporate medical care and in defending the rights and standards of CNA/NNOC members and other working nurses," said Burger.

CNA/NNOC President Emeritus Kay McVay, RN recalled when Trumka, as UMW President in the early 1990s, provided financial and tactical support for CNA/NNOC members at a San Francisco Bay Area hospital during a model national fight against corporate hospital restructuring that threatened reduced patient care and RN layoffs.

"When our patients' safety, and our members' livelihoods were on the line, Rich Trumka was there," said McVay.

DeMoro lauded Trumka's achievement in winning retiree health protections for miners, especially those affected by on the job health injuries, which she called "an inspiring model for all American workers. Rich Trumka is the type of labor leader that every worker would like to see at their bargaining table."

DeMoro also thanked outgoing President Sweeney "for his outstanding leadership, especially during the anti-union tenure of the Bush administration, the destruction it wreaked on American workers' economic security and healthcare, and its assistance for the rollback of union rights. John's humor, compassion, and dedication will be missed."

The next AFL-CIO president will be elected at its convention in Pittsburgh in September.

CNA/NNOC represents 86,000 RNs in all 50 states, and is a founding member of the newly formed United American Nurses-NNOC.

SOURCE California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee
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