Zenia Javalera will take over as president following her election by the Executive Board
It is with great sadness that the SEIU6 family announces the loss of longtime organizer and mentor David Ayala-Zamora. David passed away last night surrounded by family in Arizona.
“David was one of the very best community organizers. From El Salvador to Seattle, he brought his deep experience and his indomitable spirit to the struggle for working class justice. He was hands-on and he was honest, and he had everyone’s respect. David’s impact on our union is immeasurable. Over the past twenty years, we’ve been honored to call him organizer, field director, and advisor. But more than that, he was our brother and our friend.”
–Sergio Salinas, President, SEIU6
“David was a teacher of class struggle. It was in his bones. He was motivated by a genuine love for people. He fought for the working class, and he did everything with humor. We have learned so much from him.”
– Fred Prockiw, Director of Staff and Member Development, SEIU6
“Our hearts go out to David’s family and to his children. This is a great loss for us and for the labor community. David stood with us for so many fights, and even joined us once more at Sea-Tac to support airport workers’ call for healthcare earlier this month. We cannot overstate how much his presence, his wisdom, and his spirit have meant to our union.”
– Zenia Javalera, SEIU6 Secretary-Treasurer
Our union is strong because of members who step up, show up, and speak out. We want to honor two of our members who have done so much to empower their fellow workers over the course of many years.
Charles Pannell is a Shop Steward and Executive Board Member who has been active in our union since he started working janitorial at 999 3rd Ave in 1991.
Pannell got involved with the union during a contract fight. “The bosses wanted to give us a dime. We had the organizers on standby, and threated to walk off the job at midnight if they didn’t meet our demands. Just before midnight, the bosses relented. We got our money,” he said.
When he was volunteered to become his building’s shop steward, he asked himself, How bad can it be? “I’ve been one ever since,” he said. “You make a difference for your people.”
Jesus García-Sanchez (pictured left with President Salinas) has served for many years as a Shop Steward and Executive Board Member. He put his energy into nearly every contract fight our union has undertaken over the past 26 years, and our union is stronger because of him. García-Sanchez announced his retirement from our union’s Executive Board in March. President Salinas thanked him for his service, applauding him for having been an uncompromising supporter of workers’ rights for decades.
“Everything has a beginning and an end,” García-Sanchez said. “It is my hope that all of you will continue this fight.”