SEIU Int’l News

SEIU members speak out after Senate clears the way for cuts to Medicare, Medicaid in favor of tax giveaways for the wealthy, corporations

WASHINGTON, DC – SEIU’s two million members reacted with outrage after GOP Senators voted today to pave the way for huge tax giveaways to millionaires and corporations at the expense of working families. The budget resolution sets up a process for Republicans to pass legislation that cuts taxes for the wealthy and corporations at the expense of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, education and programs that matter in the lives of working families.

“The cuts make me angry and sad because they will hurt so many people, including my own family, all just to give tax breaks to the wealthiest one percent,” said Josh Kunkle, a Pittsburgh security officer and 32BJ SEIU member. “My wife relies on Medicaid and my child relies on CHIP. They would be without health care if these cuts go through. God forbid if my child becomes ill, we wouldn’t have coverage.”

SEIU members are not giving up after this vote though, and have vowed to fight back every step of the way. “We beat them back when they tried to cut health insurance from millions of people and we won’t let it happen this time either, the health of our residents and our families is too important,” said Carlita Adamy, a Syracuse, NY nursing home worker and 1199SEIU member. “Maybe this time they will get the message.”

From coast to coast between now and November of 2018, SEIU members will be watching Congress closely and will hold those elected officials accountable who continue to support policies that further rig the system against working families.

SEIU Members Take Action to Fight Cuts, Job-Killing Proposals

SEIU Members Take Action to Fight Cuts, Job-Killing Proposals

SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania members want to make sure their members of Congress know that we cannot solve the ongoing debt ceiling debate through cut and gut economic policies only. Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid will cost jobs and hurt those who have helped support the programs. SEIU members visited the district offices of Representatives Tim Holden and Jason Altmire to make sure the message was delivered loud and clear.

“The proposed cuts of $500 billion to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security will put the lives of our most vulnerable citizens at risk,” said Denise Cox, a worker at Friendship Ridge Nursing Home. “Seniors and working families did not create this crisis, but the government is planning to fix the problem on the backs of seniors and the working class.”

SEIU: Close Wealth Gaps with Good Jobs

In response to a newly released Pew Research Center report about the growing wealth gap for minorities, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry said that “communities of color, despite decades of gains, will likely face an imbalanced recovery because of economic disparities.”

The report shows that millions of African American and Latino workers are experiencing the largest wealth gap in 25 years. The median net worth for white families is 20 times the net worth of African Americans and 18 times the net worth of Hispanics.. “We need to take a stand to create good jobs that help rebuild the middle class and help workers provide a strong future for their children,” said Henry.

  • Click here to read the full statement.
  • Click here to read Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks, Hispanics.

Pelosi and other Democrats Rally Workers to Defend Workers

Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other congressional Democrats stood with workers today at a press conference calling out the right-wing’s state-by-state strategy to eliminate workers’ rights writ large and the GOP’s efforts to restrict the National Labor Relations Board’s authority.  “We will not stand idly by while workers’ rights are violated and the middle class is under attack,” said Pelosi in front of an array of workers.

The House is expected to vote this week on legislation that would place limits on the NLRB.

  • Click here to read more.

Ohio’s Middle Class Will Stand Up for the Affordable Care Act

Calling it an “amendment that will put the ability of all Ohioans to receive affordable and quality health coverage in jeopardy,” SEIU District 1199 President Becky Williams decried the proposed “health freedom amendment” in a statement released today. Under The Ohio Project’s guise of free choice, the amendment would, in effect, erode the progress made by the Affordable Care Act.

  • Click here to read the statement.
  • Click here to learn how the Affordable Care Act
Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment

Save Medicare! Make Big Banks Pay Their Fair Share!

Save Medicare! Make Big Banks Pay Their Fair Share!

The United NY coalition, which includes New York SEIU Locals 1199SEIU and 32BJ, organized seniors and community members to hold “Knit-Ins” at bank branches throughout New York City and Long Island with the theme “Save Medicare, Make Big Banks Pay their Share.” After being bailed out by taxpayers, banks are back to making record profits–and many are not paying their fair share in taxes.

The seniors will hand-deliver the knitted blankets to members of Congress during the August recess.

Vickie Owens, a 69-year-old retired health professional and senior rights activist from the Bronx says she’s participating in the knit-in because Medicare is essential to her health.  “I have diabetes and need medications and constant treatment. We bailed out the big banks, got them on their feet, and now they just want to throw us taxpayers and senior citizens to the dogs,” said Owens.

New Report on Money, Power and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
There’s a new report out today exposing how some of America’s largest corporations have joined forces to pour millions of dollars each year into supporting anti-worker politicians and legislation at the state level. Led by such corporations as Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola and Koch Industries, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is attacking healthcare, education, voting rights, workers, and lots more in all 50 state capitols.

The 22 companies that make up ALEC’s “private enterprise board,” their executives and affiliated political action committees, put more than $38 million into state elections in the 2009-10 election cycle and have invested more than $370 million in state politics since 2001, according to the report.

  • Read the report.
  • Watch a press conference featuring workers and community leaders speaking out against ALEC’s harmful practices.

The World In Our Hands: Art from 32BJ Union Members

Earlier this summer, janitors, window cleaners, doormen and other members of SEIU 32BJ created powerful works of art to put on display at the fifth-annual 32BJ Art Show in Manhattan.

The theme of this year’s show was “The World in Our Hands,” and featured more than 125 pieces of art work by 62 artists from the city’s union community. On display were paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs and poems that expressed members’ concerns about social issues and showcased their widely-varying artistic talents. Spouses and children of union workers also contributed to the art show.

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment

Call Your Member of Congress Now and Tell Them to Stand Up For Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security

Call Your Member of Congress Now and Tell Them to Stand Up For Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security

SEIU President Mary Kay Henry sent an emergency action alert to more than 400,000 SEIU activists asking them help protect our safety net, the patients who rely on these critical services and the workers who deliver them. Deep cuts would add millions to the unemployment rolls and deny medical care to the most vulnerable among us – including many of the people SEIU members care for on a daily basis. Will you do your part and help?

SEIU Stands Up Against Morally Wrong Cuts to Our Most Vulnerable

As politicians in Washington continue to seek a path forward on honoring America’s financial obligations and avoiding economic catastrophe, there seems to be new rumors every few hours about a possible deal or agreement. But SEIU is making clear to our leaders that any agreement that allows billionaires to keep their tax breaks but makes working families pay more and pulls the safety net from under the feet of seniors and the more vulnerable is completely unacceptable.

“If press reports about a potential deal on deficit reduction turn out to be true, Medicaid will be eviscerated, access to healthcare for millions of Americans will be gutted and millions of jobs will be lost,” said SEIU President Mary Kay Henry. “On behalf of 2.1 million members, SEIU will not support a deal with these outcomes.”

One possible alternative is the proposal by the Senate’s so-called “Gang of Six.” Much like the corporate-friendly Simpson-Bowels proposal on which it is modeled, it would do nothing to help the men and women who wake up and go to work every day and keep America running.

“Specifically, the proposed cuts to Medicaid and Medicare would raise costs and limit availability of healthcare to the most vulnerable among us, including seniors, people with disabilities and children,” said President Henry. “Reducing tax rates for corporations and the wealthy and exempting foreign earnings, a job killing measure that would send more jobs overseas, is a backward approach to raising the level of revenue needed to really address our deficit.”

What bills would you pay on August 3 if our leaders can’t come to an agreement? What services and programs would disappear?

Want to Boost the Economy? Don’t Cut Pensions

If it were up to them, Republican lawmakers would have you believe that public pensions are bringing the country down, framing public employees as greedy Americans who retire into wealth on the backs of taxpayers. We’ve already addressed how these ideas are flat out wrong. Data collected by the National Institute of Retirement Security (NIRS) reveals that public pensions have consistently provided a much-needed boost to local economies over the past several years.

Did you like this? Share it:
Leave a comment