Winning the Fight for the California Dream
As president of SEIU Local 721, I have the honor of
representing some of the most courageous, resourceful
and committed workers in California.
I am writing to share that, on April 2, I was selected by
SEIU California’s Executive Board to serve as president of
the organization. SEIU California is composed of SEIU locals
representing more than 700,000 workers across the state…
If you want clear proof of why public employees need unions, just take a look at management’s initial proposals at the bargaining table in LA County:
• A wage proposal that doesn’t even come close to covering inflation in LA’s skyrocketing housing market.
• A freeze on employer payments for health care, despite spiraling health care costs.
• An attempt to roll back or eliminate Flex Earnings, the payments LA County workers receive to offset their share of increasingly costly health insurance.
As Mark Twain once said, “rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated.” To listen to the Washington, D.C. pundits, he might as well have been talking about the American Labor Movement. To be sure, the Supreme Court’s misguided Janus decision is a severe blow to working people. But we’ve known for years that this day was coming, and we planned, prepared and organized.
For decades, public sector workers in California have fought for a society that lifts everyone up. We’ve stood up — sometimes literally laying our bodies on the line — to say everyone deserves better. That we’re all equal and everyone deserves opportunity, freedom from hunger and access to health care.
Working people in America have been pushed to the edge. In the public sector, we’re fighting to keep our communities healthy and safe with declining resources and rising demands.
At SEIU 721, we’ve built a powerful union that protects vital public services and the workers who provide them. It’s why ultra-conservative billionaires are trying to cripple organizations like ours with the “Right to Work” scam. It’s also why full union membership is must-have protection for your job, your rights in the workplace and the quality of life in your community.
On February 26th, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case called Janus v. AFSCME designed to cripple workers’ ability to organize and operate labor unions. Janus is one of dozens of federal “Right to Work” lawsuits designed from the ground up by ultra-right wing think tanks and financed by a handful of anti-worker billionaires to silence working people.
On September 6th and 7th, thousands of SEIU 721 members picketed Riverside University Health System to highlight management’s refusal to protect patients and health care professionals with metal detectors and enhanced security despite a constant flow of weapons smuggled into county emergency rooms. They marched on the County Administration Center to expose county management’s refusal to disclose details of costly failed swap deals with banking giant Wells Fargo and a $40 million sweetheart consulting contract with Dutch consulting firm KPMG.