32BJ members have elected a team to lead our union for the next three years. This team has a long history at 32BJ, and played major roles in turning our union into the powerful force that it is today.
Our president, Héctor Figueroa, was born into the labor movement in Ponce, Puerto Rico, where his parents, as teachers, were part of a long struggle to win a union at work. In February 1999, he was asked to serve as deputy trustee for 32BJ SEIU and was elected as Secretary-Treasurer of 32BJ SEIU in 2000. As secretary-treasurer and director of the New York Metro District, Hector led our successful efforts to secure employer-paid family healthcare coverage and higher wages in most of our districts, including increased job security for immigrant workers.
Larry Engelstein, our executive vice president, says that while each of our union’s fights is important, the labor movement stands for something more profound than any single battle. “We stand for some of the best traditions of our country, including that our country is better when people join together to bring out the best of us, not get ahead by dividing us.” Larry formerly served as assistant to the president and directed the union’s collective bargaining across districts.
Kyle Bragg, our secretary-treasurer, has been a member of 32BJ for more than 30 years. As vice president and director of the union’s Residential Division, Kyle developed key strategies to maintain and build union representation in New York City residential buildings. Under Kyle’s leadership, 32BJ scored a big victory with the 2010 residential contract. Members won raises of nearly 10 percent over four years, with increased pension contributions from employers and no givebacks despite efforts by building owners to require significant member contributions for healthcare.
Meet the rest of the 32BJ executive officers. Together, we will continue to win strong contracts, organize with thousands of workers to win decent wages and benefits and opportunities for a better life, and elect and hold accountable those committed to policies for working people.