The Purple Buzz – Oct. 12, 2011

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Quick Quiz:

Who wrote “The Jungle” that exposed safety and sanitation hazards of the Chicago meatpacking industry? 

A. John Steinbeck 

B. Upton Sinclair 

C. Ernest Hemingway 

D. Stephen King 

Scroll down to see answer.


Occupy Wall Street!

OccupySanJoseFed up with our broken economic system, thousands of people are holding “occupy wall street” events across the country. Millions of people remain unemployed or underemployed while CEO’s and corporations rake in record profits. 

From actions protesting bank foreclosures to local rallies against layoffs, our goal is for the super-rich to pay their fair share of taxes and to get unemployed Americans back to work. 

This is the moment to show the strength and solidarity of our movement. Attend an “occupy” event near you, tell your friends and share your photos!  

Read more:


Members steer the course at 521 convention

521 ConventionMember delegates from throughout the local converged at the SEIU 521 Biennial Convention October 7 – 9 in San Jose and took the first steps in shaping the future of our union. 

“This union is for every one of us; every profession, every job. Our union protects us all, across the board. We should be involved, especially now, so that we can be stronger as one.”
– Sharon Ingram, Nurse, Kern Medical Center, Bakersfield 

Read more and see photos:


We protected our libraries

Members of the Fresno County Library that went to Sacramento.Librarians and SEIU members worked hard to pass AB 438, which protects our libraries. 

“We librarians know firsthand what library services mean to our community. This law will protect those services.”
— Gail Lancaster, librarian II, Kern County 

“I am so happy. All of our efforts paid off!”
— Eileen Floyd Browning, Circulation Supervisor, Belmont Library for San Mateo County 

Read more: 


National Save for Retirement Week

SEIU Local 521 member Dean Carothers, who is a delegate to the National Association of Governmental Defined Contribution Administrators, would like to remind everyone that Oct. 16 – 22 is National Save for Retirement Week. 

“All SEIU members are encouraged to review or begin planning for their retirement now as putting it off for tomorrow may be too late,” Dean writes in a pension post, that can be read in full here:
Read Dean’s other report about the higher risks women face in retirement than men: 


Thanking public workers

Corporations spend oodles of money on PR firms to promote their public image; SEU Local 521 has Catherine Alexander, a former librarian from Santa Clara County and current retiree. When a gunman recently attacked co-workers in San Jose, leaving four people dead, Catherine saw an opportunity to thank the public workers – police, teachers, hospital staff — who helped during the emergency. 

Here’s what she wrote in a letter-to-the-editor published in the San Jose Mercury News:
“I want to thank those public employees who risked their lives to serve area families during this tragedy. Your employment, benefits and staffing levels should be protected, even during tough economic times, as your work is key to our local safety and security.” 

Read full letter here: 


Quick Quiz:

Who wrote “The Jungle” that exposed safety and sanitation hazards of the Chicago meatpacking industry? 

Answer : B. Upton Sinclair 

The book was written in 1906 by Sinclair, who was moved by hopeless working conditions befallen immigrants of the era. The dismal lack of workplace protections literally cost workers’ lives and limbs.

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