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.

May Day rally in Cleveland focused on immigration

Cleveland May DayCLEVELAND — Cleveland was one of nearly 100 cities Monday, where the Service Employees International Union held rallies in support of immigrants, including those who are undocumented.

More than 200 demonstrators held a rally at the Free Stamp near City Hall Monday afternoon before marching to Public Square. The event’s sponsors included immigrant rights organizations and SEIU Local 1, whose members include janitors, security officers and food service workers.

Mary Kay Henry, SEIU’s  international president, said rallies were held in Cleveland and other cities because many immigrant workers and their families are living in fear of deportation.

“Unions have always worked for things like the minimum wage, the eight-hour work day, paid vacation and personal days, the weekend, we understood we were not just getting these things for our dues paying members,” said Sandra Ellington, a Cleveland janitor and member of SEIU Local 1, who spoke at the rally. “These things impacted all workers. These gains were not only things in the past though. Unions continue to work to improve the lives of all workers – not just those who belong to unions. We are here today to fight for a better life for everyone.”

On Public Square Monday evening, Cleveland’s Fight for $15 movement, which is backed by SEIU, held a rally in support of raising the minimum wage to $15. The group had sought to have Cleveland voters decide on raising the minimum wage to $15 in the city, but later withdrew their petition after strong opposition from city leaders and state legislators. Cleveland currently does not have a minimum wage. Ohio’s minimum wage is $8.15 an hour.

Read the full story over at! 

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Immigrant workers call for equality at May Day protest

Indy May Day“My name is Maria and I’m not ashamed to clean toilets,” said the Indianapolis custodian, in her native Spanish, standing on the steps of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument.

Maria Segovia, a Mexican immigrant, was one of more than 700 protesters, including low-income workers, union organizers, communists, a hodgepodge of progressive types and passersby, who took to the streets of Downtown Indianapolis on Monday afternoon.

They joined hundreds of thousands of demonstrators attending May Day events nationwide to protest the policies of President Donald Trump.

May Day — also known as International Worker’s Day — has spawned protests around the globe in past years highlighting workers’ rights. But on Monday, the impetus for the U.S. marches spanned from immigrants’ rights to LGBT awareness to police misconduct.

“Indiana needs good jobs and Indiana needs good jobs for immigrant families,” said Paul Napier, head of the Service Employees International Union, which represents more than 900 custodial workers in Indianapolis.

“And we know that when we fight, we will win.”

Read the full story over at the Indy Star!

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Este sábado 29 de abril otra marcha busca denunciar las políticas antiambientales de Trump

Climate March Announcement - Univision

Activistas comunitarios alertan que la degradación del medio ambiente significa una grave amenaza para las comunidades de bajos recursos. La marcha proambientalista será en el centro de Chicago y coincidirá con los primeros 100 días del presidente Trump en la Casa Blanca.

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SLU adjuncts finalize their first union contract

5743704552ae5.image ST. LOUIS • St. Louis University leaders and members of the Service Employees International Union have tentatively agreed on the first contract for adjunct faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Education.

The contract is still pending approval from union members within the next week.

The five-year contract comes more than a year after the SLU adjunct professors voted to unionize. Out of 156 eligible voters, 89 voted in favor back in March of 2016, and 28 voted against it.

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Airport Workers Lobby at Chicago City Hall

Ramirez-Rosa2 - 35 CROPO’Hare Airport workers have continuously come together in their fight for a better future and a better airport for all. While Chicago O’Hare is the second busiest airport in the country, the workers who make the airport run are stuck living in a vicious cycle of poverty. They’ve gone on multiple strikes, reported rampant wage theft at their workplace, and filed various OSHA violations. Still, their concerns continue to go unnoticed by the City administration as well as major airlines. (more…)

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En “Día de Acción Nacional”, los puertorriqueños rechazan recortes en la isla

noelsanchezWASHINGTON.- En el marco de un “Día de Acción Nacional”, líderes puertorriqueños rechazaron este miércoles un plan de recortes masivos de la junta fiscal porque, a su juicio, impone condiciones de esclavitud y profundiza la “crisis humanitaria” en la isla, mientras el gobernador Ricardo Rosselló defendió en Washington su plan de reforma de la Autoridad de Energía Eléctrica (AEE).

Las protestas organizadas por “VAMOS4PR” en Boston, Nueva York, Hartford, Chicago, Orlando, Seattle y San Juan, coincidieron con el 144 aniversario de la abolición de la esclavitud en Puerto Rico, y con una audiencia legislativa en la capital estadounidense sobre la crisis en la isla.

Aprovechando la fecha, los activistas exigieron un cese a las medidas de austeridad y “romper las cadenas” de una deuda que ahoga a la economía isleña.

En Chicago (Illinois), los activistas exigieron que las autoridades antepongan los intereses del pueblo puertorriqueño a los de los “fondos buitre” que buscan sacar ventaja de la deuda de $72,000 millones de Puerto Rico, en detrimento de las familias trabajadoras.

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Chicago Airport Workers combine their strength with workers in their #FightFor15

IMG_2648On March 11th, O’Hare Airport workers joined together with Chicago fast food, homecare, childcare workers, and adjunct professors at a Fight For $15 Summit to strategize and plan on how they win $15 and union rights! While they all work in different industries, the workers know that by coming together in solidarity, they can achieve their goal of a brighter future.

To begin the summit, workers broke down the barriers between themselves, got to know each other, and why each person is there fighting for a better future. They then discussed the injustices here in Chicago and how the fight for $15 connects to the broader struggle for economic, racial, social, and immigrant justice. They also talked about the differences between individual challenges and structural, system challenges as well as what a Trump presidency means for their fight.

IMG_2653While the summit only lasted a day, the power built between the workers will last much longer. By coming together, the workers understand that while the fight is going to be difficult and long, they’re not in this fight alone.

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Security workers rally for better pay, treatment

B99514710Z.1_20170329135502_000_GOK1DUKUA.1-0The officers gathered outside the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center alongside members of Service Employees International Union Local 1 for a news conference announcing plans to organize to seek improved standards from the contractors who employ them.

The rally was part of SEIU’s nationwide campaign to join with security workers in the fight for better working conditions. SEIU has already organized groups in Columbus, Chicago and Indianapolis and is working to do so in Milwaukee, said Kathleen Policy, a union representative.

For Detroit, about 300 to 400 security workers contracted by various firms for several buildings downtown, including DTE Energy and the Detroit Medical Center, are signing up to organize with the SEIU local, said the union’s Detroit coordinator, Vas Jacobs.

“They are the first responders and they need better working conditions. We’re trying to get better standards for them. They need better pay, better training and a voice on the job,” he said. “We want to see these changes for these workers. As Detroit is coming back and turning that corner, we need to make sure these neighborhood jobs, like security, also get enhanced and get better working conditions for those workers.”

Workers taking part Wednesday are employed by various contractors, including Advanced Security/USSA, which the SEIU contends has been an “irresponsible” contractor that they have been trying to work with. A representative for Georgia-headquartered U.S. Security Associates could not be immediately reached Wednesday, nor could an official with the Southfield-based Advanced Security offices.

Close to 100 union members, security staff and several Detroit City Council members gathered for the brief rally in front of the Spirit of Detroit statue on Woodward Avenue. The group played music and blew whistles, while some chanted “if we don’t get it, shut it down” and “no justice, no peace.” Others carried signs that read, “Good Jobs Safe Detroit.”

Check out the full story over at Detroit News!

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Aldermen join rally to support American Security jobs outside Greater Milwaukee Auto Show

rally1MILWAUKEE — A rally was held to support the creation of good jobs in Milwaukee on Saturday, February 25th. Two city aldermen joined community supporters for the rally outside of the Greater Milwaukee Auto Show.

On the show’s opening day, the rally aims to hold American Security responsible for a lack of support for the security officers they employ.

They’re asking for more support of jobs with better pay and benefits.

Be sure to read the full story over at Fox 6 News.

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Missouri Gov. Greitens signs right-to-work legislation

greitens_rtw_signing_3Gov. Eric Greitens took a road trip Monday in celebration of making Missouri the nation’s 28th right-to-work state.

The Republican signed Senate Bill 19, which bars unions and employers from requiring workers to pay dues, at three ceremonies. The first one was in Springfield at an abandoned warehouse before a small crowd of supporters.

“For too long in the state of Missouri, for too long people bowed down to intimidation, they bowed down to powerful union bosses who acted to protect their own interests instead of protecting the interest of Missouri workers,” Greitens said.

The ceremony was disrupted briefly by about 10 pro-union demonstrators who shouted “right to work, wrong for us!” They were escorted out a minute later.

Greitens said the new law won’t eliminate unions but instead will make them more responsive and accountable to their members.

Organized labor says the legislation will lead to lower wages and have an uncertain impact on economic growth.

“It’s sad to see Gov. Greitens and the Republican legislature cave to big donors, corporations and special interests at the expense of Missouri’s working families,” said Vanessa Coleman with the Service Employees International Union. “The janitors, higher education faculty, school cafeteria workers, and sports facility workers of SEIU Local 1 will continue to fight for an economy that works for all of us, not just well-connected and out-of-touch billionaires.”

Read the full story over at St. Louis Public Radio!

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