A Union Contract: It’s Worth It

A Union Contract: It’s Worth It
Member: Peter Dieguez, Labor and Delivery Surgical Tech

I have been a labor and delivery surgical tech for 25 years in El Paso. I’m proud to say that I have been a part of our union since SEIU Texas came to El Paso 7 years ago. I’m a bargaining team member, a shop steward and also serve as an executive board member for our local.

Even though I’ve only been an SEIU Texas member for a while now, I can’t take full credit for my deep appreciation for unions because I have been steeped in this my whole life. 

I grew up in a union family. My father was an immigrant from Guatemala, became a steel worker and was a proud union member at United Steelworkers Local 1014 in Gary, Indiana. I remember standing with my father on the picket lines. I remember what it was like to watch members filtering through our house in the evenings to consult with him as their shop steward. The struggles that he endured as an immigrant and the struggles of all working Americans instilled this fight in me. 

That’s why I’m here with SEIU Texas, to ensure more than anything that we, the workers, have a voice on the job. For those of us with a union contract, we know from experience that those benefits, raises and grievance procedures that we enjoy came with a price. Nothing was handed to us for free. For those who have yet to secure their union contract, I have a message for you. It’s worth it. 

My union family and I stand in solidarity with workers around the country who are fed up with corporate greed, and fed up with the 1% who are underpaying workers to fatten their bottom line.