My father was a trade union leader at the Union of Sales Representatives, and my grandmother’s brother was a typographer in the Union of Graphical Workers, both in Argentina. I was inculcated with strong ethical values based on the principles of equality and justice. As soon as I started working, I joined a union and soon found myself participating in collective mobilisation and strikes. In 1976, as a result of the persecutions directed against me, I was forced into exile. When I returned home in 1982, I unionised the 100 workers employed by my printing company and they elected me as their shop steward. From then on I occupied a number of positions both at the national and international level.
Trade union activism has given me a strong sense of identity and belonging. I never saw union activism as a space for individual achievements, but rather as a collective undertaking. At the printing company I felt that in my own modest way I had helped a hundred workers to gain a better understanding of their rights and dignity. Within UNI, I was proud, together with other sisters and brothers, to have negotiated various global agreements and am now actively involved in their implementation.
I never saw my place in the labour movement and as a political activist in terms of a career. It was quite simply my place in the world, a space which gave meaning and direction to my life.
Participating in a collective struggle has given me the opportunity to transcend my own individuality, to develop my self-esteem and to join my efforts to those of others in order to demand a world that is fairer and founded on the principle of solidarity.