He appears to have suffered a heart attack on Thursday night, officials said.
Figueroa was president of Service Employees International Union 32BJ and a key player in implementing a paid sick leave law in New York City and passing the $15 minimum wage in New York..
He was also praised for his leadership in fighting for causes including Puerto Rican hurricane relief
“Héctor embodied that word ‘solidarity.’ His love of 32BJ SEIU ran deep, but you’d be just as likely to see him on the picket line with fast food workers or taxi drivers as you would with the custodians, service workers and doormen he represented. He fought just as doggedly for relief for people in Puerto Rico as he did for fair contracts here in New York City. If you were fighting for human dignity, then Héctor fought for you,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
Héctor Figueroa embodied the word solidarity. He bound us all together. His was always the voice of empathy, of conviction, of principle. To the men and women of @32BJSEIU and people in every corner of this city who looked to him as a leader: his legacy belongs to each of us now. pic.twitter.com/XYtdl2nynC
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) July 12, 2019
“Héctor was a champion for working people, minorities, the poor, the voiceless,” added New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Figueroa lived in Queens with his wife and two children.
The union represents airport workers, window cleaners, superintendent, doormen, maintenance workers, cleaners, porters and security officers in Washington, D.C. and 11 states including New York.
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