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UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez, US Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez to discuss labor rights, Latino issues to mark Hispanic Heritage Month

UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez, US Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez to discuss labor rights, Latino issues to mark Hispanic Heritage Month


WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez will welcome United Farm Workers President Arturo S. Rodriguez to the department’s headquarters for a conversation celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016.

Perez and Rodriguez will share their views on timely topics including the labor rights movement’s future, the importance of mentors and the issues affecting the Latino community. The event will be held in the Cesar Chavez Memorial Auditorium at the Frances Perkins Building headquarters. The department renamed the auditorium to honor Chavez in 2012.

Rodriguez has dedicated his life to fighting to improve the lives of farm workers by helping them organize and negotiate better working conditions. In 1993, he became president of the UFW after the passing of his mentor and legendary organizer, Cesar Chavez. Since then, Rodriguez has led the organization’s efforts to make fundamental improvements in the lives of the nation’s agricultural workers – fighting for the right of farm workers to have access to fair pay, comprehensive health coverage, retirement security, protections against pesticides, and guarantees against discrimination and sexual harassment. He began work with the UFW as a volunteer while he was a student at St. Mary’s University in 1969, before joining the organization full time in 1973.

Joining the conversation will be Julie Chavez Rodriguez, White House Special Assistant to the President and Senior Deputy Director of Public Engagement. In this role, she manages a team of associate directors who work with leaders in the Lesbian Gay Bi-Sexual and Transgender, Asian American Pacific Islander, Latino, Veterans, Youth, Education, Labor and Progressive communities. In the past four years, her work has supported reform of the nations immigration system; improved services for veterans; increased access to affordable, quality health care; and other issues. Before joining the administration, Julie was Director of Programs at the Cesar Chavez Foundation in Keene, California.

The conversation will be livestreamed on

WHO:   U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez

                                Arturo S. Rodriguez, President, United Farm Workers

                                Julie Chavez Rodriguez, White House Deputy Director of Public Engagement

Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration           

Cesar Chavez Memorial Auditorium

                             Frances Perkins Building

     200 Constitution Ave., NW

                             Washington, D.C. 20210


WHEN:                  Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, 2-3 p.m. EDT


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