Above and Beyond

Lisa Pacheco Estrada

When Local 1433-Phoenix, AZ, threatened to strike, member Lisa Pacheco Estrada knew it might be a long, tough fight.  A former gang member, who had lost many friends to the streets and did jail time at age 18, Lisa prepared for the strike by getting her finances in order and moving into a smaller house with her children.

“When I first came to Veolia I noticed all the ‘walking dead’ and wanted to help in any way,” Lisa said.  “Now with the strike I wanted to be a positive influence and a leader.”

And a difference she certainly made. Local 1433 Financial-Secretary Michael Cornelius said “Lisa became our No. 1 cheerleader. Her commitment, dedication, and enthusiasm served as a model for all. “Without her we could have never settled this strike.” But Lisa’s moment to shine during the strike had actually been a work in progress. A member since 2008, Lisa has volunteered countless hours for union activities. She started a fitness campaign called “Project Enough is Enough” for the local to get members eating healthier and exercising.

When asked why she committed so much time to the union Lisa reflected on her past. “I saw too much violence in my early life. Now I realize in order to respect life you must have integrity, and be willing to be sacrifice to help others while expecting nothing in return.”


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