Hector Figueroa

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Hector Figueroa

Template:TOCnestleft Hector J. Figueroa (died 2019) was elected President of 32BJ Service Employees International Union, the largest property services union in the country, in 2012. 32BJ represents more than 120,000 property service workers – window cleaners, superintendents, doormen, maintenance workers, cleaners, porters and security officers – in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

In recognition of his vision and leadership, Figueroa was elected to theSEIU International Executive Board in 2012 and serves on its Strategic Partners and Political Strength Committees. He is a founder and the President of the Board of La Fuente, a Tri-State Worker & Community Fund, Inc. and serves on the boards of several organizations, including the New York Immigration Coalition, El Diario-La Prensa, the New York City Independent Budget Commission, the Brecht Forum, the National Institute of Latino Policy, Good Jobs First, ALIGN and the New Labor Forum’s editorial board. He is the recipient of many awards, including the Somos El Futuro Labor Award, the Outreach Project Annual Service Award, the New York City Central Labor Council Distinguished Service Award, the Working Theater Outstanding Labor Leadership Award and the Citizen Action of New York Progressive Leadership Award.

Héctor Figueroa lives in Queens, New York, with his wife Deidre Figueroa.[1]


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. His mother and father went on strike in 1974, but it wasn’t until 24 years later that the teachers won collective bargaining rights with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). At the time, Hector served as SEIU’s Organizing Director for Puerto Rico.

Figueroa came to the United States in 1982 after being banned from university for participating in a student strike. He stayed with an aunt and uncle in the Bronx and completed his college education on a grant to study economics. Driven to continue his activism, Héctor started with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (now Workers United) in 1990, where he took part in several campaigns including efforts to organize textile workers at Fieldcrest Cannon in North Carolina and protests against NAFTA. Héctor was one of the first leaders in the labor movement to speak out for immigrant rights and he played an active role in ACTWU’s international solidarity and global organizing work.[2]


In 1995, he joined SEIU’s Justice for Janitors campaign, followed by his work in Puerto Rico as Organizing Director for the island. In February 1999, he was asked to serve as deputy trustee for Local 32BJ and was elected as Secretary-Treasurer of Local 32BJ in 2000. During his time at 32BJ, Héctor built and led the research, political and education departments, and served as leader for the tri-state and New York Metro areas.

As Director of the 32BJ New York Metro District, Héctor led operations for 70,000 members in the metropolitan New York area, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Long Island. In January 2005, Héctor successfully concluded commercial contract negotiations for more than 15,000 32BJ members in New Jersey, Connecticut, Westchester and Long Island, securing employer-paid family healthcare coverage and higher wages, as well as increased job security for immigrant workers. In 2007, and again in 2011, under the direction of 32BJ President Mike Fishman, Héctor successfully conducted the union’s contract campaign, securing a four-year agreement for 22,000 commercial office workers in New York. Héctor also successfully negotiated new contracts with the Broadway League of Theaters in 2008 and the BRI residential contract in 2012.[3]

Left Forum Advisory Board

In 2009 the Left Forum Advisory Board included Gilbert Achcar, Tariq Ali, Ashanti Alston, Anthony Arnove, Robin Blackburn, Barbara Bowen, Jack Bratich, Rose Brewer, Renate Bridenthal, Michael Brie, Stephen Brier, Stephen Eric Bronner, Paul Buhle, Joseph Buttigieg, Luciana Castellina, Angela Dillard, Stephen Duncombe, Hester Eisenstein, Barbara Epstein, Deepa Fernandes, Hector Figueroa, Harriet Fraad, Josh Freeman, Barbara Garson, Heather Gautney, Marvin Gettleman, Arun Gupta, Jack Hammond, David Harvey, Gerald Horne, Boris Kagarlitsky, Robin D. G. Kelley, Christine A. Kelly, Peter Kwong, Joanne Landy, Jesse Lemisch, Michael Lowy, Nivedita Majumdar, Manning Marable, Randy Martin, Liz Mestres, Susan O'Malley, Cathy Mulder, Leo Panitch, Christian Parenti, Thomas Ponniah, Barbara Ransby, Michael Ratner, Jan Rehmann, Gerardo Renique, Rainer Rilling, Colin Robinson, Nan Rubin, Roger Salerno, Stephen R. Shalom, Neil Smith, Richard Smith, Meredith Tax, Eleni Varikas, Victor Wallis, Joseph Wilson.[4]

Socialist Scholars 1997

The Democratic Socialists of America sponsored 1997 Socialist Scholars Conference was held March 28- 30 at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York[5].

Speakers included: Mimi Abramovitz, Daniel Singer, Harry Magdoff, Istvan Meszaros, Barbara Epstein, Ruth Sidel, Carlos Vilas, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, L. A. Kauffman, Leo Panitch, Hector Figueroa, David Abdulah, Louise Merriweather, Ngugi wa Thiongo, Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Alexandr Buzgalin, Leith Mullings, Axel Queval, Pap Ndale, Jean-Pierre Page, and "dozens more..."

Communist "Manifestivity"

On October 30 and 31, 1998 the Brecht Forum presented the "Communist Manifestivity to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Communist Manifesto" at Cooper Union's Great Hall, New York.

Individual endorsers of the event included Hector Figueroa.[6]

One of the many workshops at the Manifestivity was;

Trade Unions: New Times, New Struggles; with Hector Figueroa, Lian Hurst Mann, Priscilla Murolo and Brenda Stokely. Moderator Maureen La Mar

Center for Working Families

In 2008 Hector Figueroa, Secretary-Treasurer SEIU Local 32BJ served on the advisory board of Center for Working Families.[7]

Center for the Study of Working Class Life

In 2009 Hector Figueroa, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 32BJ, SEIU served on the Advisory board of the Center for the Study of Working Class Life[8].

New Labor Forum

New Labor Forum is published by Center for Labor, Community, and Policy Studies, Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education & Labor Studies.

Editorial Board members listed, as of March 2013; were;[9] Elaine Bernard, Ron Blackwell, Barbara Bowen, Kate Bronfenbrenner, Arthur Cheliotes, Mike Davis, Amy Dean, Steve Early, Hector Figueroa, Janice Fine, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Juan Gonzalez, Marie Gottschalk, Gerald Hudson, Lisa Jordan, Tom Juravich, Robin D G Kelley, Jose LaLuz, Nelson Lichtenstein, Manning Marable, Ruth Needleman, Ai-jen Poo, Katie Quan, Adolph Reed, Daisy Rooks, Andrew Ross, Kent Wong.