Last month I attended SEIU’s International Executive Board (IEB) meeting and was reinvigorated by the conversation. We talked not just about the critical work being done by our local unions — but about the organization’s bold, global vision for the future. SEIU believes in a vision of a more just society, where all workers are valued and all people are respected, no matter where we come from or what color we are, and where all families and communities can thrive.
Below are some highlights from the meeting. As our team at SEIU Local 1991 works every day to ensure each one of our members is treated fairly and to fight for the best possible working conditions at Jackson, we will also continue to educate about this global vision and how you can get involved in the fight for a more equitable country.
Today, our economy and democracy are out of balance: too much power is concentrated in the hands of corporations and billionaires and not with working people. Corporations and politicians use their power to rig the system to make it more difficult to join unions; to use race to divide us through voter suppression and the scapegoating of immigrants and Black people; and to block working people – Black, white and brown – from having a voice in the decisions that impact our lives.
To begin to challenge this status quo and disrupt the systems of power, SEIU works to unite millions of working people – service and healthcare workers, and people from different places and different races – in a wider movement to create a more inclusive and just democracy and economy.
This vision focuses on a few key pillars:
The opportunity to join a union – no matter where you work – is the best way to raise wages, improve working conditions, create family-sustaining jobs, and begin to create an economy that works for everyone.
Everyone in America should have guaranteed access to quality, affordable health care and long term care, and all healthcare jobs should be good, union jobs. We must invest in and improve the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, Medicare and long term care while we empower the dedicated healthcare workers who provide essential, compassionate care.
Immigrant families should be welcome and safe in America. Instead of tearing immigrant families apart and sowing fear, we must take care of our Dreamers and enact common sense reforms that provide a clear path to citizenship for hardworking immigrants and are consistent with our country’s core values.
We must take immediate, bold action on climate change, holding corporations responsible for rampant pollution and creating good, union jobs in a just transition.
– SEIU Local 1991 President Martha Baker, RN