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32nd Annual ATU Latino Caucus

In September, the ATU International Latino Caucus welcomed members from across North America to its 32nd Conference in Atlantic City, NJ. International President John Costa kicked off the Caucus in his home state of New Jersey, thanking our members who traveled from across the U.S. and Canada for their commitment to our Union and fighting for diversity and inclusion in the labor movement. Costa recognized the history of labor activism that has stretched across generations to get us where we are today, including electing the first woman and Latina as our International Executive Vice President, Yvette Trujillo.


Team Trujillo

The Latino Caucus surprised IEVP Trujillo by bringing labor leader Linda Chavez Thompson, who was the first person of color to be elected to one of the AFL-CIO’s three highest offices, to speak as well as Trujillo’s family, who traveled to New Jersey to be with her as the Caucus presented Trujillo with a plaque while Caucus members holding Team Trujillo signs gave her a standing ovation. In an emotional speech, Trujillo thanked her family, our ATU members, International President Costa, and Chavez for the honor of allowing her to stand on their shoulders.


Mentor Award

Day two of the conference was an exciting day that began with another surprise award. This time, the Mentor Award was presented to International President Costa for his tireless efforts to mentor the next generation of ATU leaders. Recounting his days at New Jersey Transit, Costa told members about his rise to the top. He reminded them, “Work hard, fight for our members, and anything is possible.” Costa, who has been attending the Latino Caucus since the 1990s, thanked our diverse members for making the ATU the strong and mighty Union it is today.

In another surprise, Caucus President Ismael Rivera and his wife, Myra Rivera, were honored with the Cesar Chavez Award, for all their work on behalf of our Latino Caucus and empowering our members. Other Caucus award recipients included Rudy Chavez Medina, nephew of Cesar Chavez, and Orlando Riley, Chair of our ATU New Jersey State Council. Also, congratulations to the new Local 1277-Los Angeles, CA, ATU Latino Caucus chapter that was brought by the members and approved by the Caucus.

Joining Costa and Trujillo at the Caucus were International Secretary-Treasurer Ken Kirk, International Vice Presidents Jim Lindsay, Manny Sforza, Natalie Cruz, Ray Greaves, Steve MacDougall, Art Aguilar, Mark Henry, and Caucus President Ismael Rivera.

Our unity can move mountains, and our determination can break down barriers.

Thank you to all our Latino Caucus members for being so passionate and dedicated to our Union and the work ahead. Until we meet again, adiós y nos veremos pronto!