Celebrating Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Connie Enriquez: Inspired by the past to build a better future

Article

For more than a decade as a union steward, Connie Enriquez has worked to build a better, safer workplace for herself and her coworkers, bringing her fellow members together in the important fight against the dangerous practice of mandatory overtime.

“By working together with members and our union, we’ve made progress in reducing the impact of forced overtime,” she says. “This is an issue that affects the quality of patient care we provide, the safety of the communities where we live and work, and most important, the lives of nurses who are often called on to work back-to-back shifts with little notice.”

She’s one of a new generation of union leaders, but she draws her inspiration from Larry Itliong, a renowned Filipino labor leader who famously organized the Delano grape worker strike in 1965.

“Larry Itliong showed me that when you stand together, management listens. It doesn’t matter what color you are or where you are from. You deserve a voice, and you deserve to be heard.”

Connie is just one of a growing group of Asian Pacific Islander leaders in Local 1000. She chooses to lead “because I want to set an example for my fellow API coworkers and demonstrate the kind of power we can achieve together.” 

“I became a union steward because it gave me a stronger voice for my members and earned me more respect from management.”  Connie Enriquez, LVN, North Kern State Prison