RWDSU Executive Vice President Gemma de Leon
Gemma de Leon is an immigrant from the Philippines, moving to the U.S. as a child. Prior to joining the union, de Leon worked at Alexander's department store and C-town supermarkets. She worked her way through college, earning her B.A. in public administration and M.B.A. from St. John’s University. She became involved in RWDSU Local 1102, starting out as an office worker while still in school, and currently serves as Secretary-Treasurer of the New York local.
She has directed Local 1102's health and pension department, and coordinated the local's field staff as Assistant to the President. She also served Local 1102 as Executive Vice-President before becoming Secretary-Treasurer. De Leon led the successful organizing campaign at H & M department stores in Manhattan which has resulted in over 1,200 retail workers joining the union.
She serves on executive board for the Health and Welfare council of Long Island, a nonprofit that advocates for needy and disabled children. She also serves on the board of Molloy College's Energeia Partnership, a regional stewardship leadership program, and is the Vice-President of the Association of Benefit Administrators.
De Leon continues to serve as a Local 1102 union officer in addition to her role as Executive Vice President of the RWDSU. As Executive Vice President, de Leon is focusing on the deteriorating conditions faced by retail workers, using her own experience in the non-food retail workplace to help the RWDSU fight to make these jobs - and the live of retail workers - better.