Trumka, Richard

Trumka, Richard

(1949–  ) union leader; born in Nemacolin, Pa. Son of an Italian-American mother and a Polish-American coalminer, Richard himself spent some seven years of his youth working in the coal mines. He took an active role in the local of the United Mine Workers (UMW) but he left the mines to take a degree in accounting from Pennsylvania State University and then a law degree from Villanova. In 1974 he went to Washington to serve on the legal staff of the UMW where he soon became dissatisfied with the way the union was being operated. Running as an insurgent, he was elected president in 1982, winning by a clear 2–1 majority. As the fourth president in ten years of a union long associated with violence and corruption, he brought a new stability; as a "technocrat," he spoke for the new breed of highly skilled miners; and as a man of the highest personal standards, he was expected to bring a new integrity to the UMW.
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