September 24, 2014
As we continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15–October 15) we wanted to share the story of UFCW Local 1473 Member and Staff Walter Garron.
Walter became a member of Local 1473 when he started working in the maintenance department at Strauss Brands in Franklin, Wisconsin. When his employer started giving his fellow coworkers a hard time about their employment eligibility, Walter came to their defense. After his union rep saw Walter “raising hell” for his fellow workers, he told him he’d make a great union steward. Walter jumped right in and has been actively involved in his union ever since. He has since worked in the Special Project Union Representative Program, and is now an organizer and union rep.
Naturally, Walter says that he is “an advocate for all workers” and that with the work he gets to do, he is truly “living the dream.” He currently serves as an Executive Board Member for the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), where he provides services and training for Latino union members. He has also helped organize Black Friday events with OUR Walmart throughout the state of Wisconsin.
Walter is also a member of the United Latinos. Touching on the importance of Hispanic Heritage Month, Walter says that the labor movement goes “hand in hand” with the Latino community:
“Latinos will be the largest minority by the year 2030, and we need to connect the movement to our communities. Latinos need to know their rights, and the labor movement needs to adopt them.”
To help Hispanics in the labor movement, Walter has been deeply involved with Immigration rights–pioneering Wisconsin informational workshops in deferred action and other immigration issues. Right now he is also working with allies to collect petitions calling for all people to have the right to obtain driver’s licenses.
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