As a Latina working at the AFL-CIO, I take particular interest in the impact Latinos have had on our nation and on our union movement. I am honored to join my colleagues, labor and community leaders today to celebrate the contributions of Latino working families in the United States.
From the start, Latinos have played an integral part in the labor movement. My grandfather did so, while working in the California fields for 35 years and organizing for more equitable wage standards and the right to form a union. He was part of the Brazero Movement, where the United States recruited Mexican workers to pick the California fields and work on the railroad. Today, America is a richer and more vibrant country and our union movement is stronger because of the contributions of Latino working families. Latino Heritage Month offers a time to recognize the stories of the nearly 47 million Latinos living in the United States and to highlight the issues facing our working families.