And celebrated union leader Héctor Figueroa died Thursday at his home in Queens, New York, at the age of 57. Figueroa was the president of local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, representing over 170,000 building cleaners, security guards, doormen and airport workers. Figueroa was instrumental in key labor struggles across the city, including increasing airport workers’ minimum wage to $19 an hour and the high-profile fight for a minimum wage of $15 an hour for fast-food workers, which led to a nationwide campaign. This is Héctor Figueroa speaking at May Day protests in 2017 in New York City.
Héctor Figueroa: “We all know that immigrant rights are worker rights. No more deportations! No more breaking families! We are here, and we are going to stay, are going to fight, because we work really hard! We feed the American public. We take care of their children. We clean their offices. We tend to their seniors. We are the ones who are making America strong! And we are here to stay!”
That was Héctor Figueroa, prominent New York City union leader, who died last Thursday of a heart attack at the age of 57.