GVP Allen, New Mexico Local 794 Member Honored for Upholding Values of Latino Labor Icons

On April 13, 2024, the Recuerda a César Chávez Committee (RCCC) of Albuquerque celebrated the lifelong dedication to justice of two remarkable individuals from IAM Local 794. The committee’s primary goal is to educate both our youth and communities about the impactful life and work of César Chávez, a prominent American civil rights leader. Through this mission, they aim to uphold Chávez’s enduring values and vision for a more just world, fostering a spirit of service within our communities.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized in my hometown,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “I am forever grateful for the gift I’ve been given to serve my Union and my community. I am proud of the work of the RCCC and am grateful for the life they breathe into the community.”

GVP Allen and Virgil Thompson, both esteemed members of Local 794 in Albuquerque, N.M., were honored with awards during the event. Thompson was recognized with the “Lifelong Commitment to Community Award,” while GVP Allen received recognition for his unwavering dedication to upholding the legacies of both César Chávez and Dolores Huerta.

Huerta, now aged 94, an RCCC guest of honor, presented the awards on behalf of RCCC and the City of Albuquerque.

“I am truly speechless and humbled in receiving this award,” said Thompson. “It is a profound privilege to be recognized by the RCCC.”

Thompson has worked closely with the RCCC for decades, serving as both a committee member and volunteer with their educational days. In accepting his award, Brother Thompson asked attendees to recall the pledge of allegiance and its ending phrase, which he recited in Spanish, “con libertad y justicia para todos,” adding that “we have a lot of work ahead to make that truly happen.”

The criteria for nomination of the Sí Se Puede Award emphasized the nominee’s embodiment of nonviolent principles in their efforts against injustice and their advocacy for peace and dignity within their community. Additionally, nominees were expected to demonstrate a genuine willingness to make personal sacrifices for the betterment of others.

“It is incredibly moving to watch two of your own get recognized for their outstanding work and dedication to our community,” said Local 794 President and Directing Business Representative Ashley Long. “Both Brother Virgil and GVP Allen have been tireless advocates for workers for decades and their recognition is well deserved.”

Local 794 Retiree L. Pablo Trujillo is also a previous recipient and a founding member of the RCCC.

For those interested in learning more about the Recuerda a César Chávez Committee’s initiatives in Albuquerque, please visit their website at cesarchaveznm.org.

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