After nine years as the Executive Officer of the South Bay Labor Council, Ben Field has decided to resign. “Ben has been essential in every significant effort to improve the lives of working families in Silicon Valley for the last decade,” said Labor Council Board President Sal Ventura, “he will be sorely missed.”
Under Field’s leadership, the Labor Council and its community allies achieved a number of important victories, including:
- A minimum wage increase that raised earnings for 250,000 San Jose workers and became a model for reform in cities across the country;
- The Opportunity to Work initiative that provided fair scheduling rights to 65,000 San Jose workers;
- A $950 million bond primarily for homeless housing;
- The creation of the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement, which will help ensure that employers comply with worker protections;
- The most comprehensive Living Wage policy in the country at Santa Clara County;
- Just cause eviction protections for tenants; and
- A variety of wage theft, local hire and worker retention policies in cities across the County.
Under Field’s leadership the Labor Council also helped elect numerous progressive champions to state and local offices.
“Thousands and thousands of working families are better off today because of Ben’s vision, leadership and hard work,” said Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Cindy Chavez, who also preceded Field as head of the Labor Council, “Without Ben we would not have had the minimum wage increase, the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement, the Opportunity to Work initiative or any number of other systemic changes that benefit working families.”
Under Field’s leadership the Labor Council cofounded with Working Partnerships USA (WPUSA) a community coalition called Silicon Valley Rising, which has helped to organize 8,000 low wage workers at tech companies. “Ben has helped give workers a voice and improved their standards of living,” said Derecka Mehrens, Executive Director of WPUSA, “His work to address the racial and income inequities of Silicon Valley has been invaluable.”
“I very much appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the causes of social and economic justice, which are deeply meaningful to me,” said Field.