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Celebrating Women Leaders in Worker’s Rights: Luisa Moreno & Veronica Mendez Moore

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This Women’s History Month join us in honoring the trailblazing women activists who laid the foundation for today’s human rights movement, and celebrating the women activists of today who are advancing and leading the cause.

Luisa Moreno (aka Blanca Rosa López Rodríguez) was a Guatemalan labor organizer and civil rights activist active in the U.S in the late 1920’s to early 1950’s. In 1934, Moreno joined the Congress of Industrial Organizations and traveled across the nation exposing unacceptable working conditions in farms and factories. Moreno was also a passionate advocate and created the Congreso de Pueblos que Hablan Español to bring attention to the treatment of Latinos in America. Due to the threat of McCarthyism, Moreno left the states, but her work endured for the rest of her life.

For 16 years, Veronica Mendez Moore, co-founder and co-director of Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL), has been a pivotal force behind the Minneapolis-based worker center. Since its founding, CTUL has recovered over $7 million in stolen wages across the construction, retail, janitorial, hotel, and restaurant industries. The organization has played a key role in organizing for city-wide minimum wage increases and joined the fight to raise the national minimum wage to $15. From 2010 to 2017, CTUL launched the Campaign for Justice in Retail Cleaning, successfully combating wage theft and enhancing union representation. As a result of their efforts, the Twin Cities became the first region in the country to achieve majority union representation in the retail janitorial sector. Mendez Moore’s departure from the organization this spring marks the end of an era but with many wins behind and ahead of CTUL, her legacy will inspire many more to come. 

These extraordinary women serve as a reminder of our rich history and what it takes to work towards a bright future for all.