Rocio Sáenz is an SEIU International Executive Vice President after being elected at the September 2013 International Executive Board Meeting, and re-elected in 2016 for a second term.
In addition to leading SEIU's fight for immigrant justice, Sáenz oversees the union’s support for the Fight for $15 and a Union, a movement of fast-food, home care and other service workers that has spread from a single strike in New York City in 2012 to more than 300 cities across the country and 50 countries around the world. In just five years, 22 million working people have won raises of more than $62 billion by joining together, going on strike and speaking out to demand $15 an hour and union rights.
Prior to becoming an International Executive Vice President, she headed the property services New England Local in Boston, which represents 18,000 workers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
Sáenz has advocated for workers' rights and community empowerment most of her adult life. She emigrated from Mexico to Los Angeles, where she initially worked low-wage jobs. Sáenz became an organizer for SEIU's Justice for Janitors campaign in 1988, and she was part of a team that led a successful campaign to organize L.A. janitors.
In August 2001, Sáenz moved to Boston to build the Justice for Janitors program there and to move the local union forward. A year later, she led thousands of Boston janitors on a month-long strike that drew widespread support from the media, clergy, politicians and community groups. The strike ended with an historic settlement that dramatically improved workers' wages, benefits and workplace rights.
In July 2003 Sáenz was elected President of SEIU Local 615 (Now SEIU 32BJ District 615), where she continued to win for workers.