USW Cares: 2017 USW District 9 Jefferson Award Winner, Linnea Hector

After uniting the eight Steelworker locals in the Virgin Islands to form a regional Rapid Response committee, Linnea Hector of Local Union 9489 took lead in a campaign that won the Virgin Islands a three dollar increase in minimum wage. Because she represents all working people, whether they are union or not, Linnea Hector is the USW Jefferson Award winner for District 9.

Hector sought guidance from her staff representative, Jerry Jackson, to unify the Rapid Response committees of eight locals in her territory and form a regional committee that she now chairs.

Her committee monitors bills scheduled to come before Virgin Islands legislature and lobbies for or against the ones that affect working people. Hector herself testified at the hearing for a minimum wage bill, which resulted in a three dollar minimum wage increase across the Islands.

“I want to get our name out there to show we are doing more than collecting dues,” said Hector. “The union is helping the community.”

As Local 9489 President and as a sub-committee member on every committee in her local - Women of Steel, Rapid Response, and Grievance - Hector encourages members to get involved with the union by taking a position, joining a committee and participating in local events that benefit the community. To help members who are new to their positions be successful leaders, she conducts regular executive board and shop steward trainings.

In addition to being a workers’ rights and union activist, Hector also helped Local 9489’s Women of Steel in organizing a community health fair where people could get screened for diabetes and have their blood pressure and cholesterol checked.

Hector also serves the community through her church: she feeds the homeless, helps the elderly, and mentors youth. She is on the executive board of peer ministry and counsels young people through hard times - very appropriate volunteer work for her since, professionally, she works for the Virgin Islands government as Treatment Director in Juvenile Rehabilitation.

Hector believes that her life was meant to be one of service: “I have dedicated myself to helping others in my professional and private life. ...I enjoy helping others because it gives hope to those who need it.”

If you know an individual who does impressive community service like Linnea Hector, tell us! Use the #USWCares hashtag when you post about it on social media, tag @Steelworkers, and nominate for the 2018 USW Jefferson Awards by clicking here.

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