Thousands take part in nationwide solidarity actions April 4
In a roaring backlash to recent attacks on public sector workers, thousands of SEIU members took part in nationwide actions April 4, the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.
Transform, Educate, Agitate, Mobilize
By trains, plains and buses, 1,500 SEIU member leaders recently attended a Member Leadership and Action Conference in Los Angeles, focused on one goal: Mobilizing their communities to fight for a fair economy.
Some reflections from 521 participants:
“I’ve had a phenomenal transformation. I am no longer a steward for 42 people; I am a community advocate.”
-– Joanne Mercado, Eligibility Worker, County of Santa Clara
“The name for this convention has become our battle cry. We, the first of 1,500, are members of the ever growing Fight for a Fair Economy.” — Jason Thompson, Child Support Officer, County of Fresno
“We unite in one room under a banner of purple demanding a just economy. We need to become a movement for justice again and now!!!” -– Ellen Rollins, SEIU 521 Region 6 Vice President, In-Home Supportive Services Provider
Healthcare is getting better. It was one year ago (April 5, 2010) that healthcare reform — The Affordable Care Act — was signed into law. It has already helped thousands of children, young adults, seniors and small businesses, and helped put an end to abuses in the insurance industry.
California Budget: What now?
Our budget crisis threatens our economic recovery and job creation. Business, labor, teachers, school boards, law enforcement officers, parents, and the agriculture industry recognize the urgency and have put aside our differences to support Governor Brown’s balanced approach of cuts and revenues.
Because a minority group of politicians refused to sign on, the public lost the opportunity to vote on maintaining existing revenues in June.
But we’ve not given up. We still need to secure the revenues that can protect schools and seniors, get our economy back on track and create jobs. What’s our strategy? Be sure to read the next Purple Buzz.
Black Workers and the Public Sector
April 2011, by Steven Pitts
» Research Brief
The standoff in Wisconsin highlights the fiscal crisis facing state and local governments across the country. Since January 2009, state and local governments have laid off 429,000 workers. As governments contemplate additional layoffs, it is important to note that few commentators have examined the racial implications of this reduction in government employment.
Visit our AFRAM Caucus web page: http://521.seiu.org/AFRAM
Q.: In what state did local and state government employees first win the right to strike?
A.: Hawaii. The Hawaii Public Employment Relations Act of 1970 broke ground in public labor law by authorizing the right to strike by public employees.