In Washington State, Casa Latina made history in becoming the first worker center to join the executive board of the state AFL-CIO body. Cariño Barragan Talancon, a Casa Latina staff member, was appointed to the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) Executive Board as the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement representative. In May, she was sworn in and attended her first meeting. Casa Latina is a worker center and Seattle-based nonprofit that works to educate, assist and empower Latino and immigrant workers. The WSLC affiliated Casa Latina in 2009 and have worked closely in partnership for several years. Earlier this year, Casa Latina also joined forces with the Martin Luther King County Labor Council in Seattle.
Jeff Johnson, president of the Washington State Labor Council, said, “This is a major step forward for building a labor movement that works to improve the lives of all people who work—not just those who have the benefits of union membership. We have had the benefit of working with Casa Latina as an affiliate for several years, but now with a voice on our board they can help us shape the vision for the labor movement in Washington State.”
Together, unions and worker centers continue to forge new, innovative ways of organizing workers outside of the traditional model of collective bargaining.”