NEW YORK —32BJ SEIU President Héctor Figueroa died Thursday night, the union said in a press release Friday.
“It is with overwhelming sadness and a heavy heart that 32BJ mourns the unexpected passing of union president Héctor Figueroa last night in New York,” the statement read. “In his many years of service to our union, to the labor movement, and to our communities, he consistently joined together a clear vision about the empowerment of working people with compassion and energy.”
According to the New York Daily News, Figueroa’s sudden death was caused by a heart attack. He was 57 years old.
In 1995, Figueroa began working with SEIU by joining its “Justice for Janitors” campaign. After that, he took on various roles at SEIU before becoming president of 32BJ SEIU, the largest property services union in the country, in 2012.
Elected officials such as Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City Council Member Brad Lander, New York State Assemblywoman Diana C. Richardson and more took to Twitter Friday to share a few words about Figueroa’s passing.
“Héctor Figueroa embodied the word solidarity. He bound us all together. His was always the voice of empathy, of conviction, of principle,” said de Blasio.