22 Sep Welcome Hermano Lalo to OCLF!

The OCLF welcomes a new drum beat to the house. Literally.

LALO_OCLFCongratulations to the newest member of the OCLF team. Eduardo “Lalo” Garcia is coordinating the Federations Immigrant Worker Center. Made possible by a grant to the OCLF, the center seeks to educate immigrant workers about their rights. Head of the Federation Julio Perez noted the importance of the newly created center for all workers, “Immigrant workers are a key part of the economy and workforce in Orange County. We need to make sure we protect the wages and working conditions of all. Especially, those most vulnerable.”

Lalo will remain on the Executive Board of SEIU USWW where he represents Union Janitors here in Orange County. In fact, Lalo was part of the original class of janitors that unionized in 2002. Only remotely involved until a wage grievance that resulted in retaliation, Lalo has become a mainstay in the Justice for Janitors movement as well as the larger battles standing up for the little guy/gal.

“I have always admired people who help others, now I’m happy its my turn to help others. I want immigrant workers to understand they have value, we all do. That immigrant workers deserve to be compensated adequately for their labor. That is labor that builds wealth for employers and that no one should be ripped off or underpaid.  I am excited about this opportunity,”

-Eduardo “Lalo” Garcia.

Lalo is no stranger to the Federation or its activities. You may most remember Lalo as the guy always beating a drum at marches and protests. Lalo explains, “The drums are part of our heritage. They motivate us and announce our presence – the drums are our heart beat.” That is why Lalo likes to say, “if there are no drums, it is not a march – to me at least.”

Drum or no drum, the 15 year Santa Ana resident, originally from Puente de Isla, Morelos will be educating immigrants of their rights, training workers on how to organize and collect back pay. If his background as a shop steward and executive board member is any indication, OC workers have a very capable steward of their rights in Lalo.

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