I hope you’re able to spend a wonderful time with your loved ones this holiday season. For me, this is always a time for reflection, and, recently, I’ve thought a lot about a concept that’s vital and dear to SEIU 721 members: solidarity.
Solidarity is essential to our union. We can’t win without it. It is what makes our movement work, our lifeblood. And time and time again this past year, we saw just how important solidarity is to our victories for change and justice.
Our members all over Southern California stood up for each other — joining thousands-person-strong rallies, marches in solidarity with labor siblings, union meetings after work or on weekends, and bargaining sessions that lasted through the night into the early morning.
It all paid off. This year we won historic contracts, with pay increases that will help safeguard members’ jobs and help them stay financially secure in one of the most expensive regions in the country. We fought back troubling proposals from employers seeking to take away long-held gains, and against problematic practices from our bosses when they disrespected our union colleagues.
We also welcomed new members to SEIU 721 — with long-time members standing up in support as our newcomers fought back union-busting employers.
Our solidarity must continue into the new year and beyond. We are living in a transformative time, where all kinds of employees — from warehouse workers to baristas, teaching assistants to rideshare drivers, nonprofit staff to cleaning staff, nurses to legislative aids — are seeking more from their employers, and asserting their rights to form a union.
In the year ahead, we must show up for them, like we’ve shown up for each other time and time again. The more workers who are united, the more our movement grows, showing solidarity, the greater our impact will be and the more transformative our struggle will become.
Together, we can show the nation and the world that when workers join each other in large numbers and fight, we can win, and we can win big.
Again, I hope that you’re able to enjoy time with your loved ones this holiday season. If you’re working during the holidays, know that we appreciate your sacrifices to keep Southern California running; your work reflects the best of SEIU 721.
And, please, take some time to reflect on our victories over the past year, and our need for continued solidarity.