Tim Flores worked for 24 years at the CF&I. He fought in WWII and was naturalized in Germany. In 1947 Tim became the first Mexican American bricklayer apprentice at the CF&I as he overcame barriers to his advancement. Tim worked in the Yard Gang as a skilled bricklayer and his job took him to many areas of the property.
Tim joined the union, the United Steel Workers of America and worked himself up from Grievance Man to the Benefits Committee chair. He was elected the first Mexican American vice president of Local 2102 in 1958. Tim fought hard for the social and economic rights of his fellow steelworkers and was reelected VP in 1961-62, 1962-64, and in 1967-70.
In Pueblo, he joined the American GI Forum. In 1958 he led the Forum, composed of Mexican American veterans against discrimination and inequities. At that time, Tim also became active in politics and was a precinct captain in the Democratic Party.
In 1970 Tim and his wife Lupe left Pueblo and moved to Denver as Tim was selected as Assistant to the President of the Colorado Labor Council (AFL-CIO). In 1973, he became the Labor Council’s legislative director and lobbied the Colorado state legislature on behalf of unions and labor. Tim built on his Pueblo union experiences. At the Colorado Labor Council, he spent countless days to help Denver metro area unions helping with contract negotiations, strike strategy and membership drives. An ally and friend of the César Chávez, Tim also helped Cesar and the United Farmworkers Union with union activities.
In 1973 Tim helped found the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA). As the Colorado representative, he helped establish the Washington D.C. group as a national organization of Hispanic unionists working with the AFL-CIO for social and economic justice.
Tim retired from the Colorado Labor Council in 1986. For decades he tirelessly gave of his time, energy, and effort on behalf of the Colorado working man and woman. Tim is profiled in the 1976 edition of Who’s Who in Labor for his contributions to labor.
After retiring, the Governor of Colorado appointed Tim to the Colorado Commission on Aging where he served admirably. Tim’s last struggle was against cancer. At his funeral, Denver Mayor Federico Pena gave one of the eulogies for my dad. As a fitting tribute, the Denver Convention Center’s east wall features 125 leaders who helped build Colorado, one of which is my dad.
Submitted by Estevan Flores