Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today issued the following statement on the death of Mark Ayers, president of the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO:
"The American trade union movement lost a great leader yesterday. And I lost a friend.
"As president of the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, Mark Ayers was a quintessential 'builder' of coalitions, consensus and a great movement for workplace fairness. He built on the dreams of his members -- laborers, electricians, plumbers and other construction workers -- to make the BCTD a strong and articulate voice for working families.
"Mark was also a builder of community. He was a champion for project labor agreements that brought people together to ensure that workers, employers and their communities benefitted from construction projects.
"We shared the same values. Whether it was fighting for investments in infrastructure and good construction jobs, securing decent wages and safe workplaces, or protecting health benefits and pension plans, Mark stood proudly on the side of working people. And I was proud to stand with him.
"Mark was an inspiration to so many, in and outside of the labor movement. His passion, dedication and selfless leadership are his legacy. He will be missed."