Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (File photo)
On Saturday November 16 in downtown Long Beach, elected officials including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti California Democratic Party Chair Rusty Hicks, and Congresswoman Maxine Waters joined SEIU members in discussing their 2020 Unions for All agenda. The discussion took place during a breakfast meeting as part of the California Democratic Convention. For the coming election year, union members said they are hoping for changes that include “ending money bail, and throwing open the doors for every person in this country to have the opportunity to join a union, no matter where they work.”
Labor unions have historically been and still are key to Democratic Party wins. California’s SEIU is made up of about 700,000 workers and joined with other labor unions hold major sway when it comes to endorsements.
“Today, according to our research at the Service Employees International Union, a staggering share of all workers in the country — up to 45% — are legally excluded from the right to bargain collectively,” said Service Employees International President Mary Henry.
“It’s time to update our laws to fit an economy where most people work in service jobs. That’s why members of our union — 2 million people who are janitors, health care workers and public service workers — are calling on all candidates for president to put forward serious plans to empower all workers to form unions, no matter what kind of job they do.”
Unions for All is SEIU’s four-pronged demand of all candidates running for public office.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (File Photo)
Said a representative, “it has the fundamental goal of bringing all workers — white, Black, Brown and Asian, those who have always been excluded and those who are unable to exercise their rights — under the protection of our labor law system so that we can begin to rebuild our society and economy together and demand bold, progressive change.”
The outline of SEIU’s agenda focuses on breaking the poverty cycle by opening up more opportunities to a wider range of U.S. workers:
- 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 fix the rigged economy.
- Corporations like McDonald’s are hurting our communities, feeding a cycle of multi-generational poverty, and exploiting Black, brown, and white working people across the country. Every working person must have the freedom to join unions across industries and regions to improve working conditions. Cities and states should have the freedom to innovate and create new ways to set the table for working people and employers to bargain over wages, workers’ rights, and community benefits.
- Everyone in America should have guaranteed access to quality, affordable healthcare and long term care. And all healthcare jobs should be good, union jobs. On a path to universal healthcare coverage, we must invest in and improve the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, Medicare, and long term care. This includes empowering the dedicated workers who provide essential, compassionate healthcare and home care services to join together in unions, raise wages, and improve job and service standards.
- Immigrant families should be welcome, safe, and free in America. Immigrant workers are powerful leaders in our union and integral to the care and service workforces in this country.
- Instead of tearing immigrant children from their parents, inciting division and spreading fear, we must extend relief to Temporary Protected Status holders, take care of Dreamers, and enact common sense reforms that provide a clear path to citizenship for hardworking immigrants, prioritize worker protections and family unity, and are consistent with our core values as a nation.
- We must take immediate, bold action on climate change, hold corporations responsible for rampant pollution accountable, and create good, union jobs in a just transition. Policies to combat climate change must be connected to those that raise standards for all working people and address the needs of communities of color who are most impacted, so that no workers, families, or communities are left behind.