AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the passing of former International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) President George Kourpias:
George Kourpias was a labor giant who guided IAM through some of the union’s most challenging times with dignity and grace. As president from 1989–1997, he led his members through national strikes, fought back against relentless attacks on workers, and created more educational opportunities through the expansion of IAM’s world-renowned William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center.
As chair of the AFL-CIO International Department, George recognized the importance of global labor solidarity and was instrumental in advocating for numerous human rights issues, including being a key ally in the anti-apartheid movement.
As a 67-year IAM member and longtime member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council, George fought tirelessly for working people. That service continued into retirement. He became the founding president of the Alliance for Retired Americans in 2001, leading the way to protect Social Security and Medicare from privatization schemes. No matter the role, George always gave everything he had.
I will miss George’s leadership and friendship. We are eternally grateful for his service. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.
Contact: Carolyn Bobb, 202-637-5018