Welcome New L21 Staff Rep: Ken Thorbourne

Ken Thorbourne, Local 21’s newest hire, will start as full-time staff representative with the Union on January 4.

The new kid on the L21 block has more than 15 years experience as a union and community organizer. Ken has worked for various unions, both in the public and private sector, and as a community organizer in his native Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and New Jersey.

Relocating from New Jersey, Ken has spent the last 15 years working as an award-winning journalist for The Jersey Journal, a daily that covers news and events in Hudson County, New Jersey.

As an organizer for the garment workers union in the ’90s, Ken led an innovative campaign in Brooklyn organizing thousands of workers. With Communications Workers of America, Ken represented hundreds of public sector workers at the Department of Labor in Trenton, New Jersey. Also in New York, Ken helped spearhead the effort that led to the Big Apple’s first living-wage law. He also played a key role in expanding the Nehemiah Plan, an affordable housing initiative that has gained national recognition.
“It feels great to be returning to the labor movement, especially to come on board with such a smart and energetic union like Local 21,” Ken said. “I look forward to working with our talented members to maintain historical gains won in the past as well as to make improvements moving forward.”