Please welcome Richard Trumka, secretary-treasurer and likely next president of the AFL-CIO 

When John Sweeney ends his fourth term in September as president of the AFL-CIO, his likely successor will be Richard Trumka, who currently serves as Secretary-Treasurer.

He is a third generation miner from Pennsylvania who became the youngest head of the UMWA at the age of 33. He joined Sweeney on the ticket in 1995 and has served as Secretary-Treasurer since then. Many will remember his stirring speech about racism and Obama at the Steelworkers convention in July of last year.

He has been a fierce advocate of the public plan, and he recently made headlines by threatening to withhold the support of the AFL from Democrats who did not support it. Along with Howard Dean, he has been an important, uncompromising voice in demanding that a public plan be included in any health care bill that passes.

Over the coming weeks there will be many members of the liberal establishment veal pen called upon to make the Senate Finance Committee’s "goody bag" look worth while.

It is incredibly important that Mr. Trumka has taken such a strong position on a public plan because it sends a signal to other liberal validators that they shouldn’t try to lipstick the Baucus Caucus pig or the cost will be their own credibility.

At FDL we’ve made a commitment to building bridges between labor and the netroots. Early on we started running a weekly labor column written by Jordan Barab, who is now Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA. When Jordan had to resign his blogging duties, Tula Connell of the AFL-CIO took his place and has been writing a weekly column here ever since. The friendship between FDL and the AFL is long standing and important, so we really appreciate Mr. Trumka being here today.

Please welcome him in the comments.