New York, NY – 32BJ SEIU, the union representing over 175,000 essential property services workers along the East Coast today welcomes several new leaders to their team. They will help carry the torch from a year of victories, including ensuring essential workers were covered under both the CARES and HEROES Acts and helping to elect Joe Biden President in 2020. In 2021, we will continue our fight against structural racism that perpetuates social and economic disparities, while organizing more airport workers, passing immigration reform, a federal $15 minimum wage and the PRO Act to give more workers the right to join a union.
Manny Pastreich took over as Secretary Treasurer for Larry Engelstein, upon his recent retirement after decades with the union. Manny brings with him a lifetime of labor experience, ranging from the birth of the Justice for Janitors campaign when janitors and others blocked bridges and major arteries in downtown D.C. every day to the United Farm Workers’ strawberry worker organizing campaign and as a 32BJ vice president serving as a Taft-Hartley Benefit Fund trustee covering several pension, health benefit, training and legal funds.
“Manny has helped bargain the best possible contracts in the property service industry and will continue to ensure that we can provide topflight health, retirement, and benefit programs that dramatically improve life for 32BJ members and their families,” said 32BJ President, Kyle Bragg.
Candis Tolliver assumed the role of Vice President in the fall of 2020, in addition to her existing role as Political Director, overseeing the political programs for 11 states and Washington, D.C. Across the districts, she helped pass minimum wage increases, voting rights expansions, fair scheduling, a cap on for-hire vehicles, the farmworker bill of rights, driver’s licenses for the undocumented, paid family leave and criminal justice reform laws. Most recently, she oversaw the passage of the Healthy Terminals Act to provide health care to thousands of airport workers and Just Cause legislation to protect NYC fast food workers. In 2020, Candis led the union’s successful, historic, electoral program to elect Joe Biden and many other candidates up and down the ballot.
“Candis has the pulse on our members’ needs and how to best engage them in the political process in order to achieve electoral and legislative victories that lift up their communities,” said 32BJ President, Kyle Bragg.
Rochelle Palache assumed the role of Vice President for Connecticut, upon the retirement of the district’s longtime leader, Juan Hernandez. She joined the union after 10 years of political activism and union organizing. Rochelle left her native Jamaica for Hartford after graduating high school in 1999. In 2013, after nearly a decade as the Council’s political organizer, Rochelle became Political Director at 32BJ SEIU, and in 2019, she become the Assistant District Leader of the union, overseeing organizing campaigns and the union’s overall political strategy.
“Like the majority of the union’s membership, Rochelle immigrated to the U.S. for a better life, and her successful rise through the union makes her a true inspiration,” said 32BJ President, Kyle Bragg.
Dean Devita has assumed the role of Vice President of 32BJ SEIU and President of 32BJ’s National Conference of Firemen & Oilers division upon the retirement of John Thacker on October 1, 2020. Dean previously served as NCFO’s Secretary-Treasurer and Director of Commuter/Passenger railroads from 2011 – 2020. The division represents workers in Kentucky and 45 other states in the private and public sector including breweries and distilleries, hospitals, power companies, paper industry, gas industry, government service shipyards, sanitary districts, transit companies, housing and school trades workers.
“Dean’s extensive experience in leadership roles will help NCFO members and their families thrive in a rapidly changing industry and landscape,” said 32BJ President, Kyle Bragg.
With more than 175,000 members in 11 states and the D.C. area, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.