May 1, also known as May Day or International Workers’ Day, is a day for celebrating the progress workers around the world have made towards building our power and creating a more equitable society.
On May 1, 1886, over 300,000 American workers went on strike in their fight for the 8-hour work day. In the years since, May Day celebrations have given working people a platform to speak on everything from increasing the minimum wage, shining a light on the abuse of immigrant workers, protesting rising income inequality, and much more.
Yesterday, SEIU 521 members carried on the May Day tradition across California.
SEIU Local 521 members joined community partners, elected officials, and faith leaders as we honored International Workers’ Day in downtown Fresno and stood up for worker’s rights to preserve a high quality of life in our communities.
We were joined by legendary labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, who was a cofounder of the United Farm Workers and is the Founder and President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation.
SEIU 521 members in Silicon Valley joined other community, faith, labor and justice groups for the annual May Day March. This year’s theme was: Sow. Grow. Know.
We gathered at Roosevelt Park before marching to City Hall for the closing program. Our celebration of the labor movement’s accomplishments was also a good reminder that there is still a lot of work that lies ahead of us. But we won’t stop fighting for good, union jobs in Silicon Valley and beyond.
SEIU Local 521 members in Bakersfield joined together with their brothers and sisters in other unions to honor workers across Kern County on International Workers’ Day.
In addition to hearing from speakers, we also took selfies with our own #TogetherWeRise photo frame to send the message that no court case can stand in the way of our fight for the good, union jobs our families, communities, and country needs.
SEIU 521 members and their union sisters and brothers from across Monterey County rallied at City Hall to show their pride for all that the labor movement has accomplished and to stand up up for our freedom to use our collective voice at work.
Their rally took place before the Salinas City Council meeting. Afterwards, members went inside where City of Salinas chapter co-president Victor Baez spoke to the City Council about the need for investment in frontline workers and City services.
May Day also reminds us that there is still much to be done to create a more just society for working people everywhere.
SEIU 521 members carry on the tradition of standing up for their rights on the job, but also speaking out against attacks on working people and our right to organize, like the anti-union Janus v. AFSCME case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
In these times it’s especially important that we stand up and speak out in support of immigrant justice. Many of our union sisters and brothers are made vulnerable by today’s political climate, but by standing in solidarity and supporting one another, we can continue the May Day tradition of fighting for equality and justice.
Coming Up: National Nurses Day
On May 6, we will also celebrate National Nurses Day, which kicks off a week of recognition for nurses in the United States that can be traced back to 1954. This week of celebration ends on May 12, in recognition of the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who is widely recognized as the founder of modern nursing.
The nurses of SEIU 521 are on the frontlines day and night, 365 days out of the year, advocating for their patients and keep our communities healthy and safe. Through our union, nurses are able to have a stronger voice in their practice and patient care.
As the most trusted professional in America for the last 16 years, we count on nurses in our most vulnerable moments. In honor of National Nurses Week, we recognize the hard work and dedication of the nurses of SEIU 521 who keep our communities safe and healthy.