Mark Ayers, president of the Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) and an AFL-CIO vice president, passed away yesterday morning. Prior to his election in 2007, Ayers served as the director of the Construction and Maintenance Department of the Electrical Workers (IBEW). A U.S. Navy veteran, Ayers also chaired the AFL-CIO Union Veterans Council .
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka was “deeply saddened” by the death, saying he joins Ayers’ family in “commemorating this extraordinary leader and friend.”
A BCTD statement said:
President Ayers was a labor leader of vision, innovation, passion and integrity, and it was through his leadership that North America's Building Trades Unions were on the path to success and increased market share for the union construction industry.
Although our hearts are heavy today, our spirits are lifted by virtue of the unsullied legacy of a working man who was grounded and guided to his core through the values that were instilled in him during his upbringing in Peoria, Ill. Mark Ayers was a true trade unionist in every sense of the word, and it was through that commitment to bettering the lives of working families that he was able to offer so much to his country, his family and to the labor movement.