Enlace is a strategic alliance of low-wage worker centers, unions, and community organizations in Mexico and in the U.S. We partner with our member organizations in international campaigns to motivate abusive multi-sector transnational corporations to treat workers and communities with dignity and respect.
Enlace uses an integrated approach to organizing, creating unique campaign strategies while developing systems strengthening organizations internally. Our strategies often cross industrial and sector lines for reasons relating to both workforce development and campaign strategy.
In addition, the Enlace Institute presents trainings in strategic organization development that were developed over the many years of learning through our campaigns. Our collaborative brainstorming processes are useful for virtually all work groups in base-building organizations.
We appreciate anything you can contribute to support our work to strengthen low-wage worker organizations. Follow the link to sign up for an automatic monthly donation or to make a donation online!
Peter Cervantes-Gautschi, Director
Peter has been a labor activist since 1965, starting as a young farm worker in Southern California. He has organized for HERE, SEIU, and CWA, headed two prominent labor councils, started two low-wage worker organizations, and co-founded several labor-community coalitions, membership organizations and political action committees.
In the early 1980s, he started studying both successful social justice movements and value-added processes of corporations. In 1995 and 1996, Peter toured the United States and Mexico, interviewing leaders of 80 low-wage unions and worker centers. He wrote a discussion paper on the challenges to organizing low wage workers based on the interviews and his own experience. A discussion of the paper’s findings among representatives of organizing-oriented worker centers and unions in the U.S. and Mexico led to the founding of Enlace.
Mary Mendez, Deputy Director
Mary started out as a worker in a food processing plant in eastern Washington. She engaged over a thousand of her co-workers in a successful union organizing campaign in the early years of NAFTA. In fighting salary differences between European Americans and Latinos, Mary was the first person to win an international grievance against the United States under NAFTA. Among other accomplishments, this effort compelled Mexico to charge the United States with violating the rights of the workers in Washington. She then came to work for Enlace and has been working for over ten years as a trainer and a campaign coordinator. Today Mary specializes in helping groups build leadership from the ground up.
Katharine Riker, Development Coordinator
Katy has been a labor activist for over thirty years, starting in Alameda County (Bay Area) California Welfare Department where she was a member leader of the strike in 1977. She was an organizer for SEIU Local 715 and has also worked with SEIU Local 535, the CWA Organizing Department and the Printing Specialties Union. Katy has also worked with Confluence Northwest, a mediation service provider which also gave mediation training.
Jaime Trinkle, Campaign Coordinator
Jamie brings a diverse background in law, community and student organizing, grassroots project development, and tracking dirty money in the environmental sector. Prior to joining Enlace, she broadened the network of the National Lawyers Guild Legal Observer program in Portland, OR and worked on criminal defense and civil rights cases at the Portland Law Collective as a Lewis & Clark law student. As an environmental activist in California, she organized direct actions targeting the fossil fuel industry players who pollute in Bay Area communities of color and researched financiers of those companies and Alberta Tar Sands projects. She also co-founded the Davis People’s Free School, an egalitarian, cost-free education project to broaden and de-institutionalize the education options available to the community in her college town.
Amanda worked at Enlace Member IDEPSCA as the Administrative Controller, Mobile Voices Co-founder and Coordinator and Day Laborer Organizer. She brings an extensive background in organizing day laborers and other immigrant groups in New Jersey and Los Angeles. As an immigrant, she knows of the daily struggles immigrants face and has dedicated herself to achieving social justice for immigrant families. Her commitment to the growth of organizations that support immigrant rights has prompted her to co-develop popular communication projects. She co-founded mobile voices because she believes that we must become our own media and follow IDEPSCA’s motto of “reading reality to write our own history”.
Prison Divestment Campaign
Jonathan De La Cruz
Joseph Sicaeros Saurez
Seafood Worker Justice Campaign