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"Building a Green Collar Movement: Labor and the Environment"

AFL-CIO President Trumka speaking at Union Days

Leader of a 56-union federation with more than 11 million members, AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka will speak April 9 as part of Union Days 2010.

Trumka delivers the keynote address from noon to 1:30 p.m. in 105 Ives Hall.

"Building a Green Collar Movement: Labor and the Environment" is the theme of Union Days, which will be held April 8 and April 9.

All events are free and open to the public.

Trumka, named by President Barack Obama to the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, became a third-generation coal miner when he was 19.

He spent seven years in southwestern Pennsylvania's coal mines to support himself while earning degrees at Pennsylvania State University and Villanova University School of Law.

He served four years on the United Mine Workers of America legal staff and was first elected president of the organization in 1982.

During three terms as president of the mine workers' organization, he led initiatives including a boycott against U.S. Shell Oil for its business dealings in South Africa, a strike against the Pittston Coal Co. and federally-legislated health care for retired miners.

In 1995, he was elected AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer and continued in that office until elected president last September.

Trumka has played a large role in AFL-CIO's pension investment and collective bargaining strategies.

He also helped organize a global coal miners' coalition and worked with international labor leaders on behalf of American workers impacted by multinational conglomerates.

Union Days Events begin April 8 with the Social Justice Career Fair from 1 to 4 p.m., in the second-floor lobbies of Ives Hall.

A panel on labor and the environment will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. April 8 in 105 Ives Hall, followed by break-out discussion sessions with panel members from 6:15 to 7:30 pm.

Panelists will be Rick Abraham, an environmental and labor union consultant; Debra Erenberg, grassroots organizing director of Rainforest Action Network, and Leslie Moody, executive director of the Partnership for Working Families.

Union Days 2010 is sponsored by the Cornell University ILR School. Co-sponsors are ILR Extension Labor Programs, ILR Global Labor Institute, Cornell Organization for Labor Action, Cornell Students Against Sweatshops, KyotoNow!, Cornell Department of Natural Resources, Alice Cook House, ILR Office of Career Services and ILR Student Services Office.