And now Casa Latina’s 18-member staff has joined together in a union themselves and signed their first contract. The employees, who organized their union with Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU) Local 8, said their effort was partly inspired by witnessing the power of union solidarity at the WSLC.
“I am a domestic worker and I remember when I went to the WSLC conventions, I saw the power of all the unions together. That was awesome!” said Silvia Gonzalez, Casa Latina’s Women Without Borders Lead Coordinator, who served on the staff’s contract negotiating team. “Now being part of the OPEIU Local 8 union makes me feel proud, knowing that there is someone who can support us and stand up for us is great. I appreciate all the support from union staff, also the directors of Casa Latina since they have always been in favor of unions. Now I can go to the WSLC conventions, as part of a union!”
Marcos Martinez, Casa Latina Executive Director, serves on the WSLC Executive Board and represents the interests of worker centers and the communities for whom they advocate.
“Casa Latina has defended immigrant workers’ rights since its founding in 1994, and became an affiliate of the MLK Labor Council and the WSLC almost 10 years ago,” Martinez said. “Now we can say we are a proud union employer, and with our first contract we’re entering a strong partnership with Casa Latina staff and with OPEIU Local 8.”
There has been a wave of non-profit advocacy organizations whose employees have joined together in unions recently. At OPEIU 8 in Seattle, that has included the staffs of Crisis Connections and YouthCare, among others.
OPEIU Local 8
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