Richard Barrera is stepping down as the head of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, the umbrella organization that represents the region’s unions.
Barrera said he will join the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135 on Feb. 1.
“In this role, I will have an opportunity to return to my organizing roots and help chart a path for the future of our labor movement,” he said in a statement dated Tuesday.
“I see the potential for San Diego’s workers to build tremendous strength and power in the next decade by organizing powerhouse locals the way workers in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York have,” he said.
Barrera — a member of the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education — was appointed to lead the labor council in May 2013, after predecessor Lorena Gonzalez won an Assembly seat.
His selection was criticized because of a perceived conflict between his roles as a union leader and SDUSD trustee, since the vast majority of district finances involve personnel costs. He was allowed to keep both positions.
Barrera has recommended that the labor council’s political and legislative director, Dale Kelly Bankhead, succeed him on an interim basis until a regularly scheduled election of executive board officers is held in April.
— City News Service
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