Ricardo Torres spent 24 years as a senior official/organizer coordinator for the Teamsters and the United Steelworkers Association on the national level. During his time with Teamsters, Ricardo has lobbied with both houses in Washington D.C. with the AFL-CIO, worked with joint council’s legislative departments throughout the country, and worked with union outreach programs in the UK, Latin American countries within Central America and South America and to help promote labor law change in economically struggling countries. He also was a strike coordinator, corporate campaign coordinator, worked on national freight contract negotiations with the Teamsters. While working with the Steelworkers, Ricardo was an international organizing director, working on campaigns with glass, rubber, meatpacking, processing, retail, warehousing, steel and healthcare industries. Ricardo was one of the directors charged with developing the alliance between the United Steelworkers Association and the California Nurses Association and the USWA that merged with the Canadian Retail Employees Union, in which Mr. Torres initiated organizing strategies across the USA and Canada.
Ricardo worked with Richard Bensinger while he was the AFL/CIO’S National Organizing Coordinator to establish healthcare and Non Healthcare organizing strategies at the organizers institute in Maryland. During this time Ricardo worked and coordinated with many international unions including the UAW, CWA, SEIU, ILA/ILWU, IUOE, FCWA and the CNA.
During his career within the unions Ricardo has worked on more than 1,000 campaigns nationally.
While working for the unions, Ricardo found that unions cared more about money than the best interest of the workers that they were supposed to represent. The union organizers would often go after victory “by any means necessary”, often breaking the law and endangering the livelihood of the workers in exchange for the membership dues. As these practices escalated so did Ricardo’s desire to leave the unions.
Ricardo has many reasons for leaving the unions to help organizations to remain union free. When asked why he left the unions, two reasons always stand out. The first was during the Detroit Newspaper strike. A worker developed cancer. Ricardo suggested that the worker should be allowed to cross the picket line to get his job and benefits back. The union refused and the man eventually passed away due to his inability to get proper medical care. The second was when a union asked Ricardo to order his organizers to threaten immigrant workers with deportation if they signed cards for recognition. Ricardo then decided to fight the unions for what he believed in. (i.e. better relationships between management and the workforce.). Ricardo realized that there are better ways to help bridge the gap between management and employees thus eliminating the desire for unionization. Ricardo views his job as foreseeing unionization before it happens and saving organizations the large amounts of money needed once unions are brought in.
Ricardo formed Permanent Solutions Labor Consultants, Inc. in 2001. Since then he has consulted in many campaigns throughout the country. Permanent Solutions is in the forefront of union avoidance strategies including testifying in congress against the union card check (HR800) bill. Currently Permanent Solutions Labor Consultants, Inc. has an astonishing 100% success rate. The key to his success is his past experiences with the unions. Ricardo not only brings his insight but also employees other former top level union officials who have shared his same values.
Ricardo has a B.S. in Labor Studies from Wayne State University and has often been a guest lecturer at the University of Michigan’s Labor Studies program. He also has taught Labor Law at the organizers Institute in Maryland and the USW training academy in Pennsylvania.