Ramón Valadez throughout his career as an elected official has been a strong advocate for the labor movement, and his actions have clearly demonstrated his strong support for organized labor. Mostrecently,he has joined with his fellow union brothers and sisters on strike at Asarco, and on numerous occasions walked the picket lines with them. He immediately put his beliefs into action and made it a priority to deploy county resources and services from the Pima County One Stop Center, the Kino Veteran’s Workforce Center and the Community Action Agency to support these brave men and woman. In his seeking union campaign endorsements, he reminds each organization that in supporting him, they will be endorsing someone who goes beyond being a candidate who might say, “I support unions,” but rather they will be supporting someone who throughout his tenure as an elected official has always acted with labor’s success and best interests in mind.
In each of his past eight elections, he has diligently pursued and successfully attained Labor’s endorsement in each of the races where he stood for election. To him the importance of securing Labor’s endorsement was ingrained into him by his father, who worked at the copper mines was an active member of the Teamsters. While employed at Pima County, he joined AFSCME, and also became a member of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA). What is most significant to note, that he continued his membership in AFSCME, while serving in the State Legislature. One of his early union mentors was Art Eckstrom, a United Steelworkers of America (USW) President at Pima Mine, who later served as a member of the United Steelworker’s (USW) District staff headed by the legendary and iconic labor leader Maclovio “Mac” Barraza. While at the University of Arizona, he participated in Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA), and was honored to personally meet Cesar Chavez (NFWA), whose presence and story became a most profound influence which still remains with him today. He was also very fortunate to have been mentored by the late Chuck Huggins (IBEW), who served for many years as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Arizona State AFL-CIO. Another local significant union mentor, was the late Albert M. Elias, from the International Typographical Union/Communication Workers of America (CWA), whose firm Old Pueblo Printers, served as his designated union printer on his campaign materials beginning in 1996. As a member of AFSCME, he also relied heavily on the mentorship of the late Leroy Dyson and the late Ray Figueroa both union leaders within that labor organization