Press

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Union Janitors Rally, Calling for Greitens to Uphold Minimum Wage

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Union janitors rally in downtown St. Louis calling on Missouri Governor Greitens to uphold the $10 an hour minimum wage in the city.

Janitor Eugene Hubbard says the people who clean your office have bills to pay too.

“You know, these people go to work everyday and they go to a clean building,” Hubbard says. “Half the janitors they don’t even see, because a lot of us are at not – but they do see our work.”

Sierra Parker is a janitor at a corporate office downtown and says she is fighting for the minimum wage.

“The message here today is to fight for justice for the janitors and not just only the janitors, but the fast food workers too,” Parker says. “We need this $10 minimum wage.”

Governor Greitens has yet to sign a bill passed in the regular session, House Bill 1194. The bill would repeal the higher minimum wage in the city of St. Louis.

Read the full story, featuring Local 1 members, over at KMOX!

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SEIU Local 1 Ohio Director Yanela Sims thanks Columbus City Council and Mayor Ginther for Protecting All Workers With Immigration Ordinance

 Following passage of Columbus Ordinance …

 SEIU Local 1 Ohio Director Yanela Sims thanks Columbus City Council and Mayor Ginther for Protecting All Workers With Immigration Ordinance

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The following is a statement from Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1 Ohio Director Yanela Sims:

“We applaud the recent action by Columbus City Council and Mayor Timothy Ginther to affirm the rights of all Columbus residents, including immigrants. This action is a step in the right direction towards respecting all Columbus residents’ rights regardless of immigration status. The ordinance prohibits city funds from being used for the ‘sole purpose of detecting or apprehending persons based on suspected immigration status, unless in response to a court order.’ It also eliminates immigration status as a reason to deny individuals city services.

“Mayor Ginther and the Columbus City Council are demonstrating that our state’s individual cities continue to lead the way in human rights. Cleveland and Cincinnati are recognized as sanctuary cities, along with others in the state. This decision by Columbus to protect immigrants is another example that shows local leaders in Ohio protect and have compassion for our most vulnerable.

“I hope that in upcoming state, local and federal elections Ohioans affirm these views by electing candidates who support all workers, including immigrants, and that we can continue down the path of ensuring the rights of all.”

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Service Employees International Union Local 1 unites nearly 50,000 workers throughout the Midwest. SEIU janitors, security officers, food service workers, and others are working with community leaders to advocate for the quality services the public deserves and the good jobs our communities need.

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SEIU Illinois State Council President Tom Balanoff Calls on Governor Rauner to Create Clean Power Plan for Illinois

Following President Donald Trump’s short-sighted withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement…

SEIU Illinois State Council President Tom Balanoff Calls on Governor Rauner to Create Clean Power Plan for Illinois

CHICAGO – The following statement is from Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Illinois State Council President Tom Balanoff:

“Clean air and water are essential in building stronger, healthier communities for all working people across Illinois.  Working families, particularly those in Black and Brown communities, live in areas hardest hit by environmental damage and suffer the brunt of climate change’s effects. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement illustrates the need to push even harder for environmental justice at the state and local levels.

“Two Republican governors – Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Gov. Phil Scott of Vermont – have committed to fulfilling the tenets of the Paris Agreement despite President Trump’s withdrawal. There is no reason Governor Rauner cannot do the same for Illinois.

“Governor Rauner must put our planet and the people of Illinois before partisanship. Do the right thing for Illinois’ working families and commit to a clean power plan that keeps neighborhoods healthy and helps put our state on the path towards a 100 percent clean-energy future.”

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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 workers, not just corporations and CEOs, benefit from today’s economy.

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AUDIO: United Airlines Has Happy Shareholders, Unhappy Workers

United Airlines’ shareholders don’t seem too worried about the long-term impact of a passenger being violently dragged off a plane. But workers for United’s contractors are protesting low wages.

DAVID SCHAPER, BYLINE: It’s not the airline’s passengers who are fed up with United. These are employees – baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, wheelchair attendants and others picketing across the street from the massive Willis Tower, downtown Chicago, where United is headquartered. These low-wage workers are not employed by United but by companies contracted with the airline. Raquel Brito says she and the others are not sharing in United’s recent surge in profits.

RAQUEL BRITO: We just need a living wage so we can pay our bills and put food on the table for our family.

Read the full interview over at NPR and listen to the interview with Raquel Brito, O’Hare Airport worker, below!

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Fight For $15 Protests Target McDonalds, United Airlines Shareholders

CBS United Shareholder 2017CHICAGO (CBS) — The Fight for $15 movement took aim at shareholders meetings for two Chicago area corporate giants on Wednesday — McDonald’s and United Airlines — as low-pay workers continued their push for a higher minimum wage.

Fight for $15 protesters also sought to send a message to United Airlines at the company’s shareholder meeting at Willis Tower on Wednesday.

Airport workers – including baggage handlers, janitors, and security officers – were joined by leaders of the Service Employees International Union, which has been trying to unionize the employees of subcontractors hired by the airlines.

“O’Hare workers are coming together with other airport workers from major cities across the country, all fighting for a better life by sticking together and speaking out,” SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff said.

The workers claim contractors hired by United undercut jobs at O’Hare, and undermine safety and security.

“We understand this is an important issue being raised in cities and states across the country. At United, we hold our vendors to the highest standards and require them to follow all applicable laws and regulations. Since we do not have a direct employer-employee relationship with our vendors’ employees, we must rely on them to work with each other directly,” United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said in an email.

SEIU officials said 30 airport workers and supporters were arrested at the United Airlines protest, including Balanoff. Police issued citations for blocking traffic.

Watch the full video over at CBS Chicago!

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEIU Local 1 Janitor Willie Cannon Responds to Missouri Senate’s Last-Minute Passage of HB 1194

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 12, 2017
CONTACT:
Nick Desideri desiderin@seiu1.org 630-779-5510

SEIU Local 1 Janitor Willie Cannon Responds to Missouri Senate’s Last-Minute Passage of HB 1194

ST. LOUIS – The following statement is from Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1 janitor Willie Cannon. For years, SEIU Local 1 janitors, adjunct faculty, and public sector workers have been at the forefront of the fight to raise the minimum wage in St. Louis. Today, in the final hours of legislative session, the Missouri Senate passed HB 1194:

“By voting today to lower wages for tens of thousands of working people, the Missouri Senate turned back the clock on working families and our neighborhoods.

“The wage increase has already gone into effect, so HB 1194 would slash paychecks for 35,000 St. Louis working families.

“But Local 1 members are ready to fight to make sure Governor Greitens sides with working families and not special interests.”

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SEIU Local 1 represents more than 8,000 janitors, higher education faculty, public sector workers, school custodians and industrial workers across Missouri. Together, SEIU Local 1 members fight an economy that works for all working families, not just the wealthy and well-connected. 

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St. Louis minimum wage increase takes effect Friday

STL FlagST. LOUIS – St. Louis City will raise its minimum wage to $10 an hour as the clock strikes midnight May 5. Circuit Judge Steven Ohmer lifted the injunction on the city ordinance that will bring the wage increase into effect.

The bill will eventually cap out at $11/hour as of Jan. 1 , 2018.

Minimum wage workers, like Richard Bullion of the Service Employees International Union, celebrated the announcement Friday.

“Too many working people in St. Louis need to take a second job just to keep our head above water. Between bills, food, and rent, there’s not much left at the end of the day,” Bullion, a janitor for 25 years, said. “We need to make sure working families can make a living, and raising the minimum wage will go a long way towards making that a reality. The janitors, higher education faculty, and public sector workers of SEIU Local 1 thank Mayor Lyda Krewson for implementing this law. We fought long and hard for this victory.”

This is a huge victory for the working families of St. Louis! Read the full story over at The Missouri Times.

 

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For Immediate Release: Chicago Airport Workers Demand Action on Low Airport Standards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 4th, 2017

After Chicago Aviation Commissioner Apologizes for United Dragging Incident…

Chicago Airport Workers Demand Action on Low Airport Standards

Evans Must Take Airport Workers’ Concerns Seriously

Chicago (May 4, 2017) — O’Hare Airport worker Oliwia Pac issued the following statement in response to Chicago Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans’ apology to Congress over the United passenger dragging incident:

“Chicago Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans told CongressThursday that she’s ‘deeply sorry’ for the violent removal of Dr. Dao from a United Airlines flight last month.

“What Evans should also be ‘deeply sorry’ about is perpetuating a cycle of poverty among thousands of Chicago airport workers, like myself, who struggle to provide for our families.

“The dragging incident involving Dr. Dao was ‘deeply saddening and personally offensive,’ Evans said. Also personally offensive is Evans’ refusal to meet with me and other low-wage airport workers to discuss our concerns about the low standards at Chicago’s airports.

“Our requests to meet with Evans have gone unanswered for more than two years, and that’s unacceptable. We want Evans to take our concerns seriously and effectively address the deficiencies at our airports.”

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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 cleveland.com! 

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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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