Ayers had also butted heads with Democrats, labor’s traditional political allies. In an August 2011 letter to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Ayers said BCTD would not participate in the party’s convention this year due to concerns over the use of scarce union resources and its location in Charlotte, N.C., a state with low unionization.
In a statement Sunday, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said he was saddened by the loss of Ayers.
“I am deeply saddened by Mark Ayers’ passing. We join his family in commemorating this extraordinary leader and friend,” Trumka said.