Louie Rada: Hand Him the Bullhorn

November 2014

When some thrust a bullhorn into the hand of UNAC/UHCP’s new organizer Louie Rada at a Justice for Janitors march in downtown LA, suddenly he knew he’d found his calling. That was not long after he graduated from Cal State LA in 1994 with a Political Science major and Chicano Studies minor. He grew up in the San Fernando Valley from age 11, after his parents moved from Ecuador where he was born. For his first, early taste of labor activism, his dad used to take him to UAW Executive Board meetings when he was a kid. Though his aunt and three cousins are all nurses, he didn’t start organizing RNs until 2007. But he has worked in the labor movement since he was 24.

After Justice for Janitors, he worked with union car haulers and airline employees; food processing workers with the Teamsters and news broadcasters with SAG/AFTRA. Before getting into the labor movement he did grassroots organizing right out of college with CARECEN (Central American Resource Center), and held various jobs such as UPS package sorter in a warehouse, and truck driver with a linen company.