Monday, November 26, 2007
PR Young Dems participate in Remembrance of Labor Leader
By: Phillip Arroyo
On September 3rd, 2007 Puerto Rico Young Dems participated in a remembrance event for Puerto Rican Labor leader and father of the labor movement on the island, Santiago Iglesias Pantin. This event was organized by the Puerto Rico Senate and its President, the Honorable Kenneth McClintock Hernandez. Flower arrangements were presented and perched onto Santiago Iglesias's memorial statue just steps away from the Puerto Rico state capitol building. Santiago Iglesias Pantín (February 22, 1872 – December 5, 1939) was a Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico, a "delegate" or nonvoting member to the United States House of Representatives.
Iglesias was born in A Coruña, Galicia, Spain, where he attended the common schools, and was apprenticed as a cabinet maker. He moved to Cuba and was secretary of the Workingmen Trades Circle in Havana from 1889 to 1896.
Iglesias then moved to Puerto Rico, and was the founder and editor of three labor papers:
Porvenir Social (from 1898 to 1900)
Union Obrera (from 1903 to 1906)
Justicia (from 1914 to 1925)
He was appointed general organizer of the American Federation of Labor for the districts of Puerto Rico and Cuba in 1901, and he was a member of the Puerto Rican Senate from 1917 to 1933. In 1936, he was wounded during an assassination attempt by Puerto Rican Nationalist Party partisans.
Iglesias was elected as a Coalitionist Resident Commissioner on November 8, 1932, and was reelected in 1936 for the term ending January 3, 1941. He served in the 73rd, 74th, 75th, and 76th Congresses, from March 4, 1933 until his death.
He had three sons and eight daughters, including labor activist America Iglesias Thatcher.
Iglesias died in Washington, D.C., and was buried at the San Juan Cemetery, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Among the hundreds of people that assisted the event were representatives from all labor movements on the island including the Brotherhood of Teamsters, AFL-CIO, and Central Union of Puerto Rico Workers among others.
YDAPR Chapter Congressional District Representative Sammy Rodriguez, YDAPR Chapter Secretary Carlos Catala and YDAPR Press Secretary Carlos Ramos were on hand at this historic event in representation of all young Dems on the island and our nation. Sammy Rodriguez and Carlos Ramos are both members of the National YDA Labor Caucus.
PR Democrat Corner will continue to provide coverage on all of the pending and held Young Democrats of America Puerto Rico Chapter events.