Manny Pastreich has been involved in the labor movement for as long as he can remember. Growing up he attended demonstrations, bargaining sessions, and building visits alongside his father who led SEIU health care locals in Massachusetts. He had the opportunity to see firsthand the difference unions made in workers’ lives, from pay and benefits to the opportunity to have a voice on the job.
As a college student, Manny worked on political campaigns for Michael Dukakis and for Bob Kerrey’s Presidential Primary bid.
Manny learned what it takes to win campaigns when the bosses are aligned against you during his time as a researcher on SEIU’s Justice for Janitors campaign from 1992-1996. In an unprecedented move that captured the public’s attention and the media spotlight, janitors and others blocked bridges and major arteries in downtown D.C. every day. “Those days were the culmination of the incredible work of worker leaders, organizers, campaign strategy, and community support all coming together to do what it took to highlight the plight of janitors and D.C. residents.”
Manny also worked as a researcher supporting SEIU’s organizing and bargaining across the country before doing a three-year stint as a research director for AFL-CIO on the United Farm Workers’ strawberry worker organizing campaign. He then completed another three years with the AFL-CIO, coordinating multi-union campaigns in the airline and airport sectors.
Manny joined 32BJ SEIU as a research director from 2002-2004, after which he became director of Collective Bargaining Benefits Fund and currently serves as a Taft-Hartley Benefit Fund trustee covering several pension, health benefit, training and legal funds. He had been an at-large executive board member for three years before becoming a vice president.
As vice president, Manny’s goals will be to help bargain the best possible contracts in the property service industry and ensuring that we can manage topflight health, retirement, and benefit programs for 32BJ SEIU members.
Manny previously served as a board member at the Latin American Youth Center and currently serves on his son’s little league board. Manny currently resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife and three kids.