Press Release

AFL-CIO Mourns the Loss of Civil Rights Icon

Statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the Passing of Rev. Joseph E. Lowery

The entire labor movement mourns the loss of the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, a man whose passion for civil rights inspired generations of Americans. From his days walking side by side with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to co-founding the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Lowery was a leading voice in the fight for equality.

He was a fierce advocate for voting rights and criminal justice reform, and led groundbreaking protests, including a boycott in the mid-1980s that persuaded the Winn-Dixie grocery chain to stop selling products from South Africa during apartheid.

Labor rights are civil rights, and our movement has been at the forefront of the struggle for every major civil rights law. As we continue our fight, we will be forever grateful to the “dean” of the civil rights movement. Rest in peace, my friend.

Contact: Carolyn Bobb (202) 637-5018