Thousands of union members, elected officials, community organizations and activists are expected to attend a memorial service for Hector Figueroa, president of Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, who died of a heart attack on July 11 at the age of 57. He was elected president of 32BJ, the nation’s largest building service workers’ union, in 2012. The union represents 85,000 building workers in New York City, including doormen, porters, handymen and others.
The service for the influential union leader will be July 24 at 1 p.m. at Riverside Church in Morningside Heights.
The day after his death, the New York Times ran a posthumous op-ed article by Figueroa entitled “The Labor Movement Can Rise Again,” which details his vision for the future of the labor movement. In the op-ed article, Figueroa wrote: “To make lasting change for American workers, unions cannot focus only on dues-paying members. We need a broader movement that helps every family – union or nonunion – win economic security. We can do more.”
Kyle Bragg, the news president of 32BJ said: “We have lost a brother, a beautiful mind, an irreplaceable union leader and a real fighter for justice. Héctor believed in 32BJ and planted many seeds during his tenure that have now blossomed into the powerful work that the union will continue in his legacy. Today we mourn our leader but we continue standing strong to fight for our shared vision for a more just society.”
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