December 2nd 2020

Larry Willis, president of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department, died Sunday as the result of injuries sustained in a Nov. 21 accident, when his bicycle was struck by a car. He was 53 years old.

“MM&P, the labor movement and working people have lost a true friend and advocate,” said MM&P President Don Marcus.

“Larry’s tragic loss leaves a hole in the labor community and in our hearts. He will be terribly missed.”

“He was not motivated by fame or fortune—his end goal was always about doing the most good for the greatest number of people,” said TTD Secretary-Treasurer Greg Regan.

“Though his time with us has been cut short, Larry’s legacy will live on in the legislation he helped shape, the policy makers he reached through thoughtful, sophisticated arguments, the colleagues and staff he influenced and mentored, and the working people he dedicated his life to.”

Under Willis’s leadership, TTD played an active role in the annual effort to secure full funding for the Maritime Security Program. He was a fierce defender of cargo preference laws and the Jones Act.

“When we need sealift capacity in times of war and times of national emergency, those flag-of-convenience vessels with foreign crews—I promise you—will not be there,” he testified earlier this year at a Senate hearing on the Jones Act.

“The collective hearts of America’s labor movement, particularly transportation unions, are broken by the tragic death of our brother, TTD President Larry Willis,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

“Larry was respected across the aisle and throughout our movement.”

“His passing is a reminder that we cannot take a single day for granted, and the AFL-CIO will honor his memory by fighting for the issues he championed and the people he loved.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Larry’s wife and daughter, along with the entire TTD family, during this difficult time.”