LABOR group AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka has reportedly died age 72.
Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Trumka's death on the Senate floor on Thursday morning while fighting back tears.
"It's just horrible news," Schumer said. "We have just lost a giant. And we need him so. We will remember him forever. And his memory will, I know, importune us to do even more for working people."
The leader is believed to have died of a heart attack, a source familiar with the matter told Politico.
According to the outlet, Trumka is believed to have died either Wednesday evening or Thursday morning.
His fellow staff at the AFL-CIO were reportedly informed of his passing on Thursday morning.
Trumka had served as president of the federation for more than a decade and was a close ally of Joe Biden's White House.
Back in March, Trumka told CNN: "Of all the presidents I've been around, Joe Biden understands the importance of collective bargaining in restoring the balance."
Mourning his death, President Biden said that he was "more than" a labor leader, but also a "close, personal friend."
Trumka's bio on the AFL-CIO page describes him as "an outspoken advocate for social and economic justice, Trumka is the nation’s clearest voice on the critical need to ensure that all workers have a good job and the power to determine their wages and working conditions."
Following reports of his passing, fellow political figures started to swarm social media with tributes.
Representative Eric Swalwell wrote: "AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka was a tireless champion for U.S. workers; he dedicated his life to ensuring more Americans could attain the American Dream. He'll be sorely missed."
Senator Joe Manchin said that he was "heartbroken" to hear about the loss of his "dear friend."
"Rich's story is the American story – he was the son and grandson of Italian and Polish immigrants and began his career mining coal," Manchin added. "He never forgot where he came from."
Representative Brendan Boyle said that "all working men and women lost a champion today."
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