[caption id="attachment_2697" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="ONE COMMUNITY—Members of Local 888’s new Latino caucus. The group seeks to get Latino and Hatian union members more involved."][/caption]
Latino members of Local 888 have wanted to start their own caucus for years. Now, thanks to the hard work of Jorge Vargas, Margarita Franco, Enio Lopes, Rosa Matias, Norma Martinez and others, the vision is becoming a reality. Christina Villafranca, a Local 888 organizer, and a force behind the new caucus, explains that the goal is to reach Latino and Haitian members of the union and encourage them to get involved. “We want to bring everyone together as one community and start to educate each other about what it means to be part of a union,” says Villafranca.
Villafranca notes that the group’s model for a forceful Latino Caucus comes from Local 721 in California, which has a caucus hundreds strong. The Local 888 group, which has been meeting regularly, also hopes to join forces with the SEIU International Latino Caucus.In the meantime, caucus members are reaching out to Latino and Haitian workers. “We want workers to come to us with workplace issues and work together to find a solution.” Caucus members are also creating a fund that will help members who need emergency assistance, including help with rent or food.
For more information about the Latino caucus, contact Christina Villafranca at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meetings are on the first Wednesday of every month at the SEIU Local 888 union hall in Charlestown.