Rocio Sáenz is an SEIU International Executive Vice President. Prior to her election, she headed the property services New England Local in Boston, which represents 18,000 workers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
Sáenz emigrated from Mexico to Los Angeles, where she initially worked low-wage jobs. She became an organizer for SEIU’s Justice for Janitors campaign in 1988, leading a successful campaign to organize L.A. janitors.
In August 2001, Sáenz moved to Boston to build the Justice for Janitors program. 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 a historic settlement that dramatically improved workers’ wages, benefits and workplace rights.
Sáenz was elected President of SEIU Local 615 (July 2003). Ten years later, she was elected International Executive Vice President, becoming the first Latina executive officer.