The Saint Paul Foundation honored workers rights activist Lucila Dominguez with one of its Facing Race Ambassador Awards at a program today in St. Paul. The award honors leaders in the fight for racial equity and against racism, and promotes the need for productive community‐wide conversations about race.
Dominguez is an organizer and activists with the worker center CTUL, or Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha.
Prior to joining CTUL’s staff, Dominguez worked for several cleaning subcontractors, working inside big-box retail stores. She looked to CTUL for help after experiencing sub-poverty wages, wage theft, extreme workloads and poor working conditions.
“Immigrant workers don’t always know their rights,” Dominguez said. “They are afraid to organize and confront their employers about stolen wages and unsafe working conditions. They need their jobs to survive.”
Now Dominguez works as the main organizer of CTUL’s Workplace Rights Defenders Program, educating others about their rights and helping them to address problems with their employers. CTUL has recovered more than $1.3 million in stolen wages and has succeeded in getting 31 companies to change policies that violate workplace law.
Dominguez also helps lead the Mesa Latina campaign at the Minnesota Legislature, working to pass a bill that would allow people to obtain drivers licenses regardless of immigration status.
Award recipients will each designate a $10,000 grant from The Saint Paul Foundation to an organization working to end racial disparity.