News & Events

SEIU Local 1 members continue to make headlines in their fight for economic and social justice! Be sure to check out their stories in the news as well as the Local 1 blog.

Local 1 Celebrates The Women Who Make Chicago Work!

On International Women’s Day, hundreds of Local 1 women janitors and custodians who clean our Chicagoland offices, schools and public buildings rallied with their allies as #WomenRise for good jobs and a strong new contract!

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Chicago Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th Ward) were among the elected leaders who joined the celebration to support the women who make Chicago work!

Local 1’s women members kicked off their contract campaign on behalf of 12,000 Chicago-area janitors, 70 percent of whom are women.

It was a great event and an empowering day! Women rise! ¡Mujeres guerreras! Silne kobiety!

Check out some of the fantastic media coverage from the event:

Univision: http://bit.ly/2FoicRF

Telemundo: http://bit.ly/2txWyEM

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Express Scripts Pulled in $4.5 Billion While Janitors Barely Scrape By

Contracted Janitor at Express Scripts: “It’s time Express Scripts follow through on its commitment to the working people of North St. Louis County”

ST. LOUIS – The following is a statement from Dominique Curry, a Centaur Building Services janitor at Express Scripts, in response to the Fortune 500 company’s fourth quarter and full year results released today. While Express Scripts pulled in $4.5 billion in 2017, the contracted janitors who clean its facilities are struggling to make ends meet:

“Express Scripts is a Fortune 500 healthcare company, but the janitors like me who work hard to clean it every day are barely scraping by on low wages and bare-bones health coverage.

“Express Scripts has received millions of dollars in taxpayer incentives and raked in billions in 2017. Meanwhile, we’re struggling just to put food on the table for our kids and to pay the bills.

“It’s time Express Scripts follow through on its commitment to the working people of North St. Louis County by creating good jobs that give us the opportunity to support our families. Doing so will raise standards for all working people and make our region better for everyone.”

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Hundreds Of Local 1 Janitors Kick Off Their Campaign For Strong New Contracts!

Hundreds of Local 1 members from across the Midwest came together in Chicago last Saturday for their leadership convention. Together, they kicked off their campaign for strong new contracts!

In addition to Chicago, Local 1 members from Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Milwaukee, Toledo and St. Louis were in the house!

Contracts expire this year for more than 14,500 Local 1 janitors. At the convention hall, the energy was high as the member leaders geared up to fight for strong new contracts that include good raises and better benefits, while also protecting our progress.

We agreed that, this year, we have our best opportunity yet to win better wages and benefits. Because that’s what unites us: hope in a better future for working people and our families.

When one city wins, we ALL win! Together, #WeRise for the good union jobs our communities need to thrive!












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Chicago Airport Workers Grow Their Movement To Join Local 1!

Worker leaders at Chicago O’Hare International Airport continue to reaffirm their commitment to a better future with SEIU Local 1. At a recent convention, the worker leaders expressed excitement and optimism for their journey ahead in the fight for economic justice at Chicago’s airports!

Check out video from the convention:

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SEIU Illinois State Council Endorses Marie Newman for Congress

SEIU Illinois State Council Endorses Marie Newman for Congress

Progressive labor union represents more than 150,000 janitors, security officers, health care and home care workers, public employees and more throughout Illinois, including more than 10,000 in Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District. 

CHICAGO – Today, the SEIU Illinois State Council announced its  endorsement of Marie Newman in the state’s March 20 Democratic primary. Newman is running to unseat longtime incumbent Congressman Dan Lipinski in Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District.

While Illinois working families are struggling to make ends meet, Congressman Lipinski told the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board that he did not support raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. His refusal to stand with working families for a higher minimum wage, along with his votes against the Affordable Care Act, legal protections for immigrant families and a woman’s right to choose shows how clearly out of step Congressman Lipinski is with the progressive values of his constituents. Unlike Lipinski, Newman will be a progressive champion in Washington for the 3rd District’s working families by fighting for a $15 minimum wage, advocating for immigrant families, protecting a woman’s right to choose and expanding access to affordable health care.

“Congressman Lipinski’s refusal to support a $15 minimum wage for working people shows how deeply out of touch he is with the working families of his district,” said SEIU Illinois State Council President Tom Balanoff. “Whether it’s voting against Obamacare or voting for restrictions on a woman’s right to choose, it is clear Congressman Lipinski does not share the progressive values of his constituents. SEIU is proud to join a long list of progressive leaders and organizations in endorsing Marie Newman for Congress.”

“Every day, our members get up to do very hard work to deliver quality health care and child care services to those who depend on us. Unfortunately, not enough of our elected officials in Washington are doing what’s necessary to help these workers improve their lives,” said SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana President Greg Kelley. “I’m standing here today to support Marie Newman for the 3rd District Congressional seat for the state of Illinois precisely because we need someone to represent us in Washington who will not quiver or equivocate on the issues that are so important to working families.”

“When you work hard and play by the rules, you deserve a shot at the American Dream. That is a value I share with the 10,000 SEIU members who are the very backbone of our community here in the Third district. For far too long, Dan Lipinski has turned a blind eye to hardworking Illinois families ignoring his responsibility to fight to give them a chance,” said Marie Newman. “I will never turn my back on our working families, rather, I will fight tirelessly to make sure workers can survive on a livable wage, starting at $15 an hour, have access to affordable and quality healthcare and Medicare for all, and can access their earned benefits like Social Security and have respect and dignity in the workplace. I could not be more honored to have the support of SEIU and I look forward to working alongside them as a partner to make sure no matter who you are or where you come from if you work hard you will have a fighting chance at success.”

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The SEIU Illinois State Council represents more than 150,000 working people, including home care and child care providers, security officers, janitors, as well as public employees, medical professionals, first responders and social service workers. SEIU members are winning better wages, health care, and more secure jobs, while ensuring that working people, not just the wealthy and well-connected, benefit from today’s economy.

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Congratulations CRE Graduates!

Last week, 20 Local 1 building engineers, representing six different management companies, were the first group to graduate from the one-year Certified Residential Engineers training program! The training program, a partnership between labor and management, is aimed at improving the lives of Local 1 members and the residents they serve in their buildings. Congrats CRE graduates!

Check out video from the event and hear from the graduates:

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Detroit Janitors, Joined by Hospital and Fast Food Workers, Deliver “Workers’ State of the State

SEIU Local 1 members in Detroit joined hundreds of hospital, healthcare and fast food workers to deliver a “Workers’ State of the State” in front of Governor Snyder’s office at Cadillac Place on Tuesday, January 23. The event outlined the ways the governor has attacked working people and their unions over the past eight years, and enumerated the demands of Michigan’s workers of their next governor.

“Working people in this state need a path to higher wages,” said Darrel Bonner, a janitor for U.S. Metro at the Detroit Public Schools. “We need home rule so that we can have a say in those wages. And we need to know our children will be safe from things like lead in our water. We need access to basic services. And we need a Governor who will support our unions! Unions are the best way to get our state back on track.”

Detroit Free Press: “They staged what they called a ‘Workers’ State of the State,’ and said Snyder has attacked working people and their unions since he took office.”

After eight years of Snyder’s failed policies, workers are sticking together and fighting back to let their fellow citizens know the true state of Michigan, after eight years of lowered standards, low wages and, in some places, a lack of basic standard of living, including poisoned water. The number one job of our elected leaders should be to raise the standard of living for working people.

Local 1 members delivering water to Flint in 2016

“When I was asked how Governor Snyder’s policies have impacted me, I thought back to the disaster in Flint,” said SEIU Local 1 Executive Board Member and Detroit janitor Pam Owens-Moore. “I was never prouder to be a member of Local 1 than when we delivered that semi-truckload of water to Flint, and I believe that unions make our state stronger. What happened in Flint is a horrific disaster. But it teaches us a valuable lesson that who we elect and what they believe makes a real difference in people’s lives.”

This event was the first of many throughout 2018 in Detroit and across the state of Michigan in which SEIU and Fight for $15 workers are fighting to make politicians listen to working people and take action on issues that matter, including leading on raising wages by increasing the state and local minimum wage and ensuring workers have rights to strong unions.

 

 

 

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SEIU Local 1 Janitor Sandy Hinson Responds to Governor Greitens’ State of the State Address

SEIU Local 1 Janitor Sandy Hinson Responds to Governor Greitens’ State of the State Address: “In 2018, Working People Will Remind the Governor Who Pays His Salary”

KANSAS CITY – The following is a statement from Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1 janitor Sandy Hinson in response to Governor Eric Greitens’ State of the State address. Hinson was a leader in the fight to raise Kansas City’s minimum wage for working families, which passed via petition initiative with 69 percent of the vote before being preempted by state law:

“Governor Greitens promised higher pay for Missouri’s working families. His administration has delivered the exact opposite.

“Governor Greitens has made it harder for working families to put food on the table. From lowering St. Louis’ minimum wage for 30,000 working people to taking away the right of Missouri voters to raise wages in cities across the state, he has shown nothing but contempt for those of us working hard to make ends meet.

“In 2018, the working people of Missouri will remind Governor Greitens who pays his salary by repealing Right to Work, raising Missouri’s minimum wage, and reforming our state’s broken campaign finance laws.”

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SEIU Illinois State Council Endorses Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia for Congress

SEIU Illinois State Council Endorses Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia for Congress

Garcia will be a strong progressive voice in Congress for economic justice, immigrant rights

CHICAGO – The SEIU Illinois State Council, which represents 150,000 janitors, home and health care workers, higher education faculty, security officers, doorstaff, public employees, and more today announced its endorsement of Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia to replace outgoing Representative Luis Gutierrez in Illinois’ 4th Congressional District.

“Now, more than ever, we need a strong progressive voice in Congress to stand up for working people and fight back against the backwards priorities of the Trump Administration,” said SEIU Illinois State Council President Tom Balanoff. “With his commitment to raising the minimum wage to $15, expanding affordable health care access and protecting immigrant rights, Chuy Garcia will be that progressive leader for the working families of Illinois.”

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of 150,000 janitors, home care and child care workers, security officers, doorstaff, public employees, and social service workers of the SEIU Illinois State Council,” said Garcia. “As Congressman, I will work with SEIU members and other allies in the labor movement to build an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy and well-connected. This starts with raising the minimum wage to $15 indexed to CPI, supporting immigrant communities,  and ensuring more working families have access to quality, affordable health care.”

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The SEIU Illinois State Council represents more than 150,000 working people, including home care and child care providers, security officers, janitors, as well as public employees, medical professionals, first responders and social service workers. SEIU members are winning better wages, health care, and more secure jobs, while ensuring that working people, not just the wealthy and well-connected, benefit from today’s economy.

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SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff: “Congress Must Take a Stand Now” to Protect Working Families Under TPS

SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff: “Congress Must Take a Stand Now” to Protect Working Families Under TPS

Trump Administration’s decision will force hundreds of thousands into undocumented status

CHICAGO — Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it is terminating Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for more than 200,000 Salvadorans, the largest group protected under TPS, who have been living and working legally in the U.S. since 2001. The action comes on the heels of November decisions to terminate TPS for more than 45,000 Haitian immigrants and 2,500 Nicaraguan immigrants.

“The Trump Administration’s cruel action today will force hundreds of thousands into undocumented status, tearing working moms and dads from their families and their communities,” said SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff. “Congress must take a stand now against racism, division and bigotry by ensuring TPS holders, many of whom have lived in the U.S. for decades, can continue working and supporting their families. If Congress does not act, we will hold them accountable for their failure at the ballot box in November.”

DHS is providing a grace period of 18 months after which TPS recipients from El Salvador must leave the U.S. or be deported. The announcement makes clear that the same fate is likely for more than 57,000 Hondurans with TPS, whose status will be reevaluated in May. In all, more than 300,000 working people who have been legally present here for years face likely expulsion unless Congress acts to protect them.

SEIU members include foreign-born U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and immigrants authorized to work in the United States. Many SEIU Local 1 members have mixed-status families, they will continue to speak out support of TPS extension until Congress does the right thing.

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