Union members in Santa Cruz County vow to stick together: “No Court case will stand in our way”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 27

Contact: Katie Small, katherine.small@seiu521.org, (714) 515-0217

Union members in Santa Cruz County vow to stick together: “No Court case will stand in our way”

Redouble efforts to unite more working people in unions, hold politicians accountable for creating good, union jobs

[SANTA CRUZ, CA] – Members of SEIU Local 521 joined with other working people across the country today to declare their resolve to stick together in their union. Even though the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a long-expected decision in the Janus case, one that was backed by wealthy special interests seeking to rig the economy in favor of the greedy few, SEIU members remain dedicated to sticking together. Santa Cruz County workers, whether white, Black or brown, are standing together in unions and holding politicians accountable for creating more good, union jobs.

“Nothing’s going to stop my co-workers and me from fighting for good, union jobs and providing quality public health services for our community,” said Matt Nathanson, a Public Health Nurse for Santa Cruz County. “We’re proud to stand strong with working people of all races, across California and the nation. Together we rise!”

SEIU Local 521 members will be using #WeRise on social media to show their unity in the face of the Supreme Court’s decision. Working people, whether white, Black or brown and regardless of immigration status, are organizing to protect their unions and are using the hashtag to publicly call for more good, union jobs.

“No matter our differences, most of us want pretty similar things,” said Anna Rodriguez, a Family Child Care Provider in Watsonville. “Just as women across our nation are standing up to demand respect in workplaces and the public sphere, so too are union members bolstered in our fight to protect and strengthen unions because we know it’s the way to fight poverty, achieve better working conditions for all families, and provide better care for our kids.”

SEIU members and community allies know that when working men and women join together in union, they gain the power in numbers to raise wages, win affordable healthcare and make a dignified retirement possible.

“I want all the working people of Monterey County to know that I am against this attempt today to use the highest court in the land to further rig the rules of the economy,” said County Supervisor Luis Alejo. “Instead of trying to make it more difficult for working people to use their power in numbers, we should be making it easier to join together in unions. I will do everything I can do to help Salinas and Monterey County workers join together in unions.”

“I believe that the most effective way for working Americans to gain power, improve jobs and build a thriving, and inclusive middle class is through unions,” said Soledad City Councilman Alejandro Chavez. “The Supreme Court should preserve the freedom of workers to collectively bargain because corporate interests should not be more important than working people that should have their voices heard.”

“It is only fair that union shops collect dues from all– members and non-members–as ALL are benefiting and sharing in the better wages and benefits that flow from a union contract,” said Santa Cruz City Councilman Chris Krohn. “It is a shame that the billionaires, union-busting executives, and rightwing think tanks have gotten this far. They have their own organizations and associations, but they want to deny working people the right to have healthy unions. My sincere hope is that Janus v. AFSCME will be defeated and that an already resurgent labor movement will continue to flourish.”

“Unions exist in this country to raise wages and improve benefits like healthcare and competitive retirement,” said Salinas City Councilman Steve McShane. “Union jobs boost families and make entire neighborhoods and communities stronger. To make our economy work for all of us, we need to make it easier for working people to join together and use their power in numbers, not make it more difficult.”

“Today’s US Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME further rigs the rules of the economy in favor of the wealthy special interests who want to divide us against each other. Despite this decision, SEIU 521 members are committed to standing together in our union to negotiate a fair return on our work while protecting and expanding the good, middle-class union jobs that all of America needs,” said Riko Mendez, Chief Elected Officer of SEIU Local 521. “Working people whether white, black, or brown will join together across racial differences to fight for our future, just like we won better wages, safer workplaces, and civil rights in our past. For California to be a place of freedom for all, we cannot let the greedy few and the politicians they pay for divide us against each other.”

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Service Employees International Union, Local 521 represents 40,000 public- and nonprofit, private-sector workers in the California’s central Bay Area region and in the Central Valley. Under a Community First vision, we are committed to making sure the needs of our community, and the vital services we provide our community, come first. We believe our communities thrive when residents, leaders, and workers recognize that we are all in this together when it comes to our safety, health, and well-being.

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