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Shop Steward Spotlight: Aileen Quiñones

Tell us about your work, what do you do?

[AQ]: I am an MVC Technician in North Bergen. I have been here almost 4 years now. We distribute licenses for New Jersey residents, permits, ID’s, process out of state transfers.


How long have you been a Shop Steward?

[AQ]: It’s going to be two years.


Why do you think it’s important to have a union at the workplace?

[AQ]: It’s important to understand the regulations at the worksite. Also, to make sure we are treated fairly, that we are not overlooked, and that we have equal rights. Issues can arise sometimes from miscommunication, and having a union helps improve communication and resolve those issues.


Why did you become a Steward?

[AQ]: I like to help people. Every workplace has some issue, and it should just be addressed and taken care of. I wanted to make sure that all our coworkers are informed and share information so we could all support each other and be on the same page.


What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of becoming a Steward?

[AQ]: You have to listen to the people.


Why do you think so many workers are joining the Labor Movement?

[AQ]: There’s more demand on us workers, but there’s less compensation. We should be treated fairly and be paid what we deserve.


How do you organize coworkers?

[AQ]: I explain what the cause is for when we are preparing an action. For example, when we mobilize to wear red, I explain that we are representing our support for a fair contract so all can see that we are united. I break it down so everyone knows and understands.


What do you want to see in our new contract for New Jersey Executive Branch employees?

[AQ]: Higher salaries, improving the way we are treated. Just fairness. As long as everything is fair, we are good.