Justice for Janitors History Day

Rank and file activist Victoria Marquez shares her personal collection of newspapers, documents, t-shirts, hats, and buttons at a history gathering day.

The members of SEIU-USWW gathered at the union hall in May 2011 to share their stories, memories, photographs, clippings, and artifacts. Long-time union member Victoria Marquez brought an extensive collection of documents, buttons, t-shirts, and other items. Later, she shared her life story with Andrew Gomez as part of a UCLA Oral History Research Center project. You can listen and read along here.

Fast for USC Workers

Dolores Huerta, Jesse Jackson support USC workers.

In 1999, UNITE HERE leader Maria Elena Durazo led workers, clergy, and activists in a fast to protest the failure of the University of Southern California (USC) to negotiate with their workers. In an editorial printed in the Los Angeles Times, Durazo compared the fast to those of United Farm Worker leader Cesar Chavez. “How could I ask others to work harder in the labor movement, to take even greater risks for their children and their co-workers, unless I was willing to fast side by side with them?” she wrote in explanation of the fast.

Durazo, Maria Elena. “Commentary; PERSPECTIVE ON LABOR; Fasting to Right Worker Injustices; They’re Following in Chavez’s Footsteps to Call Attention to Conditions and Pay at USC and Elsewhere.: [Home Edition].” Los Angeles Times. May 25, 1999, sec. Metro; PART- B; Op Ed Desk. http://search.proquest.com/latimes/docview/421383380/abstract/83E4E2B59F3C4A4APQ/17.

No peace without social justice, 1992

Members of SEIU local 399, CIWA, the ILGWU, and other organizations march in the wake of the 1992 civil unrest.

Marchers carry signs and banners from a variety of Los Angeles community organizations and unions, including one from Local 399 reading “No Hay Paz sin Justicia Social” (No Peace without Social Justice). A handwritten note on the back of the photograph appears to read “J for J Rent Protest 5/92” suggesting a connection to the civil unrest of April 29-May 4, 1992.