Jesse Gonzales Has a Taste for Justice

November 2014

Jesse Gonzales grew up hearing tales of his grandfather’s work struggles in the early LA brickyards and picking crops. He saw his father drive a truck non-union with no benefits, while his mother, a Teamster, had insurance and a pension. In college at Cal Poly Pomona, Jesse joined a campaign to help non-union nighttime janitors, all women, who worked under terrible conditions for half the wages of the unionized men on day shift. After rallies and a march on the college President, they won a victory with many of the women moved to day shift and into the union at equal pay.

After that taste of the labor movement, Jesse never looked back. He organized health care workers in San Diego, a clinic in Oakland, and RNs in Spokane, WA. He represented state workers up and down California, from Cal Trans to Cal Fire, Fish and Wildlife to Parks and Recreation. As one of UNAC/UHCP’s new organizers, he’s inspired to organize nurses and health care workers again because of their love for people and deep passion for what they do.