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Mayo Clinic Locks Out Workers Over Christmas, Many of the Workers Have Decades of Service to Mayo and the Community

Albert Lea, Minn — On Tuesday, December 19th, hospital workers at Mayo Clinic Albert Lea went out on the first ever one-day ULP strike at Mayo Clinic. When the workers returned to go back to work on Wednesday morning at 6am, Mayo management and security blocked them from entering, thereby locking out the 79 people who work as certified nursing assistants (CNAs), housekeepers, sterile processing and in utilities and materials management for seven days, including Christmas. Mayo backed down on their lockout threats for the the 2nd bargaining unit of six skilled maintenance workers.
DRfQFOOVoAUtn83.jpg-largeCharlotte Nelson-Schocker, who has worked at Mayo Clinic for 28 years doing materials management, expressed the shock and frustration felt by workers who were being locked out over Christmas.
“This makes me mad, sad and frustrated. We have given so much to Mayo, and now that we stood up for what is right for workers and our community, management have chosen to lock us out over Christmas,” said Neslon-Schoker. “I can’t believe it has come to this. We won’t stop fighting for what is right. I am so happy to have such amazing support from our union and community. The support means that even though Mayo has locked us out, we know we aren’t alone in our fight for good jobs and quality healthcare.”
More plans for the week will be announced today, with locked out workers speaking out at 11am.
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SEIU Healthcare Minnesota unites more than 35,000 healthcare and long-term care workers in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home care throughout the state of Minnesota

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Albert Lea Hospital Workers Strike Mayo Clinic for First Time Ever

Hundreds picket as part of one-day strike, with workers supported by community members, multiple Gubernatorial candidates and other elected officials

Strikes comes as workers and community are fighting for good jobs and quality rural healthcare in face of #MayoGreed 

 

Albert Lea, Minn — Hospital workers at Mayo Clinic Albert Lea walked off the job on a one-day Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strike this morning at 6am. It is the first strike in the history of Mayo Clinic, and comes after countless bargaining sessions where the workers strived to find a compromise with Mayo despite Mayo’s insistence on undermining the security of the working families. The workers voted overwhelmingly to authorize their one-day Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strike late last month. The historic action comes as Mayo continues to demand changes that would undermine good jobs in the community and further the erosion of rural healthcare in southern Minnesota. Workers were joined by elected officials, including multiple candidates for Governor, other elected officials, and unions who shared their support for the workers. (Statements of support from elected officials and supportive unions to be sent out after 11am rally)

 
rs_Albert_Lea_Mayo_HCMN_strikeSheri Wichmann, who has worked in Sterile processing for 18 years
, shared why hospital workers are out on strike today.

“We are out on strike today because it is insulting that Mayo has treated us and our community this way. We are committed to our job and our community, and all we’re asking for is that Mayo recognizes our value. We care deeply about what happens as we are not just employees, but patients at this hospital,” said Wichmann. “We are not asking for the world, just a contract that is fair so we can feel some security for our families. We hope this will make Mayo realize they need to come to the table and negotiate in good faith.”

Since the vote, Mayo has threatened their employees with a seven-day lockout if they follow through with their legally-protected right to strike, a lockout that would mean workers with hundreds of years of service to Mayo patients would be locked out over Christmas. It comes during a time when Mayo’s revenues last year reached over $5 billion and Mayo’s CEO Dr. Noseworthy saw a 11% pay increase to $2.8 million per year.

Perry Jensen has worked at the hospital for 20 years in the utilities department and shared why he joined his co-workers in going on strike, even in the face of threats from Mayo.

“I’m going on strike because I am disappointed in Mayo’s ‘my way or the highway’ bargaining. It’s hard to feel valued or appreciated with what they are offering us and what they are proposing to take away,” said Jensen. “It feels like there isn’t the concern for us as employees and community members like there used to be. They won’t budge at all and want to force us to take what they want without sitting down and bargaining. It is a slap in the face. This was always a good place to work, but it is turning more into a corporate feel. I hope this strike makes them realize all we want is for them to sit down and bargain with us for what is fair for everyone.”

Joining striking workers were community members like Jeanine Anderson who shared support for the workers fighting for good jobs and quality rural healthcare.

“As a major employer here, Mayo sets the standard for jobs and the decisions they make about employment have a direct and immediate impact on this community,” said Jeanine Anderson, who worked as a manager at Mayo for 37 years before recently retiring. “The workers out here exemplify everyone in our community who depends on Mayo for good, secure jobs and quality healthcare. People come from around the world to be treated at the Mayo clinic, but our community’s needs are being thrown by the wayside. We are standing with the workers because our community needs to have a voice or we will lose out even more.”

The striking workers included the general group bargaining unit, consisting of 79 members who work as certified nursing assistants (CNAs), housekeepers, sterile processing and in utilities and materials management, who have been bargaining for over a year. Joining the larger group are six skilled maintenance workers who have been without a contract for over two years.

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SEIU Healthcare Minnesota unites more than 35,000 healthcare and long-term care workers in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home care throughout the state of Minnesota.

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Mayo Albert Lea Hospital Workers to File 10-day Notice for 1-day ULP Strike, Set Dec. 19th as Strike Date

Skilled maintenance workers vote to join general group who already voted to strike, escalating the fight against #MayoGreed

Union Expresses Concern Over Mayo Threats Around Christmas Lockout

ALBERT LEA, MINN — SEIU Healthcare Minnesota is filing a 10-day notice of intent to hold an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strike at Mayo Albert Lea Hospital on Tuesday, December 19th.

The notice comes as the skilled maintenance workers who have been without a contract for over two years voted to join the general group also represented by SEIU who voted overwhelmingly to authorize a 1-day strike in late November. The votes come as Mayo in effect continues to demand steps backwards for working families as part of their evidently ongoing devaluation of rural healthcare. The general group bargaining unit includes 79 members who work as certified nursing assistants (CNAs), housekeepers, sterile processing and in utilities and materials management, providing essential services to community members who utilize the hospital. There are six skilled maintenance workers. 11037559_10153068860841928_2591725194101681896_n

Marlene Baseman has been a housekeeper at the hospital for over 27 years. As the strike date was announced, she shared her vote to strike was because after nearly three decades she has never felt so insecure or invisible at the hospital.

“I wish Mayo would appreciate our community and the people who keep the wheels turning in the hospital. Mayo’s actions affect everyone in our community, so that is why I’m willing to take this stand,” said Baseman. “What frustrates me is that at the bargaining table we have been willing to give and give and give, and when it is Mayo’s turn to compromise, they haven’t given an inch. They seem to want to throw away all of what we have now. They offer us pennies and cut back at our hospital while we see them spending big bucks in other places.”

Baseman also highlighted the changes at the hospital in recent years.

“It seems like they have no regards for people who aren’t executives. We feel like we are disposable to them,” Baseman continued. “We have to stand up for ourselves and our community. We won’t cave because we are fighting for what is right.”

Nate Johnson is an 18-year plant operation engineer at the hospital with the skilled maintenance bargaining unit that voted Wednesday to join the 1-day ULP strike as Mayo continues to demand the ability to subcontract these jobs.

“I voted to strike because we want real job security to be able to provide for our families. Job security means loyalty both ways, and right now we aren’t seeing loyalty back from Mayo. We reached across the bargaining table and agreed to much of what they asked from us, but now the bar has moved and they are demanding the ability to subcontract away our jobs,” said Johnson. “We have seen that Mayo will subcontract an entire department by what they did to the food service workers last year. The rules changed when we saw that happen. We think we aren’t that far away from a deal if Mayo would be willing to meet us halfway and stop demanding the ability to outsource our jobs.”

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota President Jamie Gulley shared how this fight is about basic respect for the people who work at the hospital and live in the community.

“Families in Albert Lea are simply fighting for good jobs and a commitment from Mayo to show that they value the Albert Lea community. For skilled maintenance workers, they have been without a contract for two years, and the general group for over a year. Mayo continues to insist on rolling back protections for workers and won’t budge on their demands to strip basic security and respect from people who have dedicated decades of experience to their community hospital. It is a slap in the face to the whole community,” said Gulley. “Mayo has shown no intention of meeting halfway on anything. Mayo’s ‘our way or the highway’ attitude have made it clear that working families have little choice but to stand up and fight back.”

After the general group strike vote was held the week before Thanksgiving, Mayo sent an email to staff threatening to lock out workers for seven days if they held their one-day strike. This aggressive move was seen by the union as clearly meant to be a threat to stop workers at the hospital from making their voices heard through their legally-protected right to strike.

“It is very troubling that Mayo decided to causally threaten employees with a Christmas lockout. I know working people, and the whole Albert Lea community, won’t be intimidated by threats from Mayo executives. The workers and the community are united for what is right. Over the last few years it has become crystal clear that Albert Lea workers, patients and community members are ready and willing to fight for good jobs and good healthcare in our community. It is time Mayo actually listens to families in Albert Lea instead of apparently only focusing on their bottom line while sitting in their executive suites.”

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SEIU Healthcare Minnesota unites more than 35,000 healthcare and long-term care workers in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and home care throughout the state of Minnesota.

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Election Day is November 7th!

Election Day! election 2017 web image

Tuesday, November 7th is election in cities, counties and school boards around the state of Minnesota. We are proud to report that 5 SEIU members are running for office this year! When workers like us get engaged in the political process we can make a real difference in the lives of our co-workers, our families and our communities. Wherever you live and whoever you plan to support in the elections- don’t forget to vote!

For a full list of SEIU endorsed candidates, to find your polling location or information about how to register to vote click here: seiumnballot.org

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Methodist Hospital Housekeepers say “Enough is Enough”

Last week on Thursday, November 2nd, more than 100 members in the Environmental Services Department at Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital formed a delegation and presented their petitions and grievances to the Director of Human Resources. The members said “Enough is Enough”. They were tired of disrespect and poor treatment by the director of the EVS department.

Working conditions have deteriorated so much that two of the supervisors in the department informed members that they were quitting because they were being forced to issue unjust disciplines. The members came together and with the support and guidance of SEIU Executive Board member Brianne Bernini (who works in the Emergency Department at PN Methodist) organized to present their grievances in the most dramatic way possible, with a department wide delegation to Human Resources. EVS members want to see changes, including a commitment to respect our members and our work, a new department manager and we support keeping the supervisors who advocated for fair treatment of our members. With this powerful show of unity by the members, we expect that real change will be coming soon.

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Morrison – Food Services

EMPLOYER: Morrison

CONTRACTS
Morrison Contract 7.1.2017-6.30/2022

Internal Organizers: Lisa McClellan

Grievance Leaders:
Adam Lillico, Attendant/Catering
Christopher Hotopp, Warehouse/Delivery
Danielle Dohrn, Cook
Edmond Theiele, Attendant/Storeroom
Jacob Kunz, Cook
Michelle Pruett, Attendant/Catering
Michelle Winkles, Food Svc Worker
Stacey Szuberski, Food Svc Worker
Shelia Andrews, Cook
Shelley Fjeldberg, Food Svc Worker

Orientation Leaders:
Barbara Andrew, Attendant/Catering
Trisha Day, Cashier
Heather Evenson, Cashier
Yeeg Her, Cook
Leslie Kaup, Cook
Michelle Purett, Attendant/Catering

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UNSTOPPABLE: 2017 Member Convention and Leadership Assembly

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota leaders and members from across the state convened for two days of learning and to set the course of IMG_5435 IMG_5460 IMG_5731 IMG_5924 IMG_5960our Union. On Friday, September 15, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota leaders spent the day at various workshops. In these workshops members learned about organization equity and inclusion; examined our political future in Minnesota; discussed new and innovative ways that we can create member to member power within our Union and; explored the various ways that laws have been implemented around the country to destroy unions and ways that we can counteract them to continue to be a Union that sets standards and wins for members. Throughout the day SEIU leaders made commitments both to themselves, fellow members and their communities, which included: personally commit to speaking out against bigotry and discrimination of all kinds; Commit to active roles in electing pro-worker and pro-Minnesotan candidates in 2018; make personal leadership commitments to strengthen our Union and our members.

On Saturday, September 16th the fourth annual SEIU Healthcare Minnesota Member Convention was held. Throughout the  IMG_6586 morning, three resolutions were presented and voted on that shaped the course our Union will take over the coming year. These resolutions included: the Midwest Initiative, UNSTOPPABLE: member to member engagement, and a sanctuary union. Click here for a copy of the full resolutions. IMG_6303Additionally, a change to the dues structure was proposed, and was passed by IMG_6230members. Over the past year SEIU members and leaders have been exploring what happened when other unions were not prepared for open shop/dues check-off, and other anti-worker laws and how important a dues structure change is needed.The changes to our dues structure will help us to be better prepared for the uncertain political climate. For a copy of the approved dues proposal changes, go here.

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2017 Convention Resolutions

  1. SEIU Healthcare Minnesota’s Midwest Initiative Resolution
  2. UNSTOPPABLE: Member to Member Empowerment Resolution
  3. SEIU Healthcare Minnesota: “A SANCTUARY UNION” Resolution
  4. Approved Dues Proposal

 

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota’s Midwest Initiative Resolution

WHEREAS, increasing corporate power has been allowed and encouraged by our public policies, creating an economy that has been failing the many for the benefit of the few, and

WHEREAS, those in power have been effective at creating and exploiting divisions, especially divisions around race, gender and geography to maintain power regardless of which political party wins an election, and have split and pitted people against each other who are similarly hurt in the current economy, and

WHEREAS, Mayo Clinic has become the largest private sector employer in Minnesota and has also become the largest symbol of run-away corporate power in our state as it demands tax payer funded subsidies to continue operating in Minnesota, seeks to eliminate bargaining rights from workers and is engaged in a pattern of driving down living standards for healthcare workers and communities across the Mid-West, and

WHEREAS, even though workers have won important victories, we need to win on a much greater scale to truly transform our members’ lives, and

WHEREAS, we can no longer rely on the past tactics and theories to win for working families, and therefore must expand methods and try new ways of building solidarity with community members to change the dominant narrative.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT SEIU HEALTHCARE MINNESOTA WILL:

  • Partner with progressive organizations across the state to use our collective power to shape the nature of the 2018 elections and set the stage whereby our collective agenda can become the agenda of our state. To accomplish this we will:
  • Engage our membership over the next 18 months around our core values and connect our issues with the issues of other organizations to build unity among all Minnesotans and across differences.
  • Change the dominant narrative from one of corporate dominance to one powered by the people, so that the issues and values of working families are what candidates must run on to win and govern in Minnesota.
  • Create the environment that our issues are winning issues and candidates run for office with us as a partner.
  • Develop innovative ways to organize around our issues with our members and our communities.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT SEIU HEALTHCARE MINNESOTA WILL:

  • Launch and support C.U.R.E. (Communities United for Rochester Empowerment), to support Mayo workers and community members in holding Mayo Clinic accountable as it builds the Destination Medical Center. We will do this by:
  • Advocating for affordable housing and transportation in Rochester, MN.
  • Fighting to end outsourcing and benefit cuts among Mayo workers.
  • Working to organize unorganized health care workers into our Union.
  • Fighting to expand access to Mayo Clinic for patients on Medicaid, Veterans Administration benefits and other health care plans that Mayo Clinic currently does not accept.
  • Working for tax fairness in the Rochester community.

 

UNSTOPPABLE: Member to Member Empowerment Resolution

WHEREAS, we are facing the most profound attack on working people in our local Union’s 84 year history, including court cases that threaten our ability to joining together in unions, regressive federal and state legislation, executive actions and health care cuts, and

WHEREAS, transforming our union to a 21st century organization is both imperative for our Union to survive and thrive in a highly challenging and rapidly changing environment, and a powerful opportunity to modernize, innovate and engage our members and future members in new and deeper ways, and

WHEREAS, our path forward is centered on organizing workers and making unions our central political demand, driving a turnaround in 2018 and beyond by building power in states and cities and creating our 21st century Union through an unprecedented member outreach and engagement effort, and

WHEREAS, we have created leadership roles that focus on the work needed to meet these challenging times, including Political Leader, New Member Leader, Worksite Leader, Grievance Leader and Circle Leader, are determined to have the right people in the right roles, and

WHEREAS, to build national power to achieve economic, immigrant, racial, gender, healthcare, and environmental justice, we will need to engage in an unprecedented member outreach program led by member leaders under SEIU’s “Together We Rise” program.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT SEIU HEALTHCARE MINNESOTA WILL:

  • Involve, educate and recommit all members to transform our union to build and sustain the power to win for working people in our rapidly changing environment.
  • Strengthen our Union by focusing on building and developing member leaders to engage and reinforce relationships with all members so that we are prepared and ready to fight and win in any future.
  • Empower member leaders to understand that their participation is more important than ever to build member networks and structures in order to mobilize around and expand our vision of a just society for all.
  • Engage in a sustained equitable process of education and engagement that supports our transformation toward becoming an anti‐racist organization, beginning with developing accountability, structures, practices, policies and analyzing all our work through a racial justice lens.

 

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota: “A SANCTUARY UNION” Resolution

WHEREAS, our Union has repeatedly adopted resolutions and programs committed to fighting discrimination and oppression in all forms and in all places including our workplaces, communities and in ourselves, and

WHEREAS, our Union has a long and proud history of linking arms with other social-justice movements to build a wider movement that can win on multiple fronts and wield power for working people– regardless of race, immigration status, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, and

WHEREAS, white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan have said they feel empowered to openly mobilize and come out of the shadows, and inflict further terror on American communities as witnessed in St. Paul, Charlottesville, Boston, and cities across the country, and

WHEREAS, our members and leaders strongly condemned the violence that took place at the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center, a place of worship in Bloomington, and

WHEREAS, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have reportedly been targeting Nursing Homes where many of our immigrant members work, thus increasing levels of fear, anxiety, and insecurity among patients, healthcare workers and their family members, and

WHEREAS, the current administration is rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that has provided over 800,000 young people (“DREAMERS”) relief from deportation since 2012, and allowed these young people to work, serve in the military, and go to college and, therefore, contribute to the nation’s well-being.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT SEIU HEALTHCARE MINNESOTA WILL:

  • Unconditionally denounce fear-mongering, racism, anti-Semitism, bigotry and violence perpetrated by white supremacists, neo-Nazis, the KKK and other hate groups.
  • Continue to actively partner with people-of-color-led organizations to fight for issues that are of central importance to our members of color, and fully support the development of an organizational infrastructure needed to make racial equity a lasting priority in our state.
  • Call on this Administration to maintain and expand the DACA program, and urge Congress to permanently address the legal status of DREAMERS.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT SEIU HEALTHCARE MINNESOTA WILL:

  • Declare itself a “Sanctuary Union” and will:
  • Actively protect the rights and safety of every member of our union, our community and all patients regardless of one’s immigration status.
  • Not voluntarily cooperate with federal agents to enforce immigration laws – and will not record any information from our members that may be used against them in terms of their immigration status.
  • Request that our hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other healthcare providers declare support and protection of undocumented people and their families, affirmatively creating a welcoming environment as “safe zones” so that no member of our community feels threatened when seeking medical care.
  • Commit to holding ‘Know Your Rights’ training and sharing legal resources with our community, and to collectively bargain new contract languages that strengthen workplace protection for our immigrant members.
  • Continue to build alliances with others organizations engaged in similar work while continuing to resist on the streets and disrupting structures that attempt to divide us.

 

Dues Proposal – Approved September 16, 2017

The Executive Board of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota recommends the following changes to the dues structure of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota.

 

Public Sector Facilities Currently on Traditional SEIU Dues Structure

Effective January 1, 2018, the dues rate for members working in public sector facilities (not including the State home care contract) will be as follows:

2.25% of gross wages, per pay period, to a maximum of $36 per pay period. The minimum dues per pay period will be $5.

 

Private Sector Facilities Currently on Traditional SEIU Dues Structure

Effective January 1, 2019, the dues rate for members working in private sector facilities will be as follows:

2.25% of gross wages, per pay period, to a maximum of $36 per pay period. The minimum dues per pay period will be $5.

 

Rochester and Albert Lea Facilities Currently on Flat Rate Dues Structure

Effective January 1, 2019, the dues rate for members working in Rochester and Albert Lea facilities that are currently on a flat rate dues structure will be as follows:

2.25% of gross wages, per pay period, to a maximum of $22 per pay period. The minimum dues per pay period will be $5. The maximum dues per pay period will increase by $.50 each year for five years, starting January 1, 2020.

 

Duluth, Cloquet and Superior Facilities Currently on Flat Rate Dues Structures

Effective January 1, 2019, the dues rate for members working in Duluth, Cloquet and Superior facilities that are currently on a flat rate dues structure will be as follows:

2.25% of gross wages, per pay period, to a maximum of $20 per pay period. The minimum dues per pay period will be $5. The maximum dues per pay period will increase by $.50 each year for five years, starting January 1, 2020.

 

Cook County Facility Currently on Flat Rate Dues Structure

Effective January 1, 2018, the dues rate for members working in the Cook County facility that are currently on a flat rate dues structure will be as follows:

2.25% of gross wages, per pay period, to a maximum of $10 per pay period. The minimum dues per pay period will be $5. The maximum dues per pay period will increase by $1.50 each year for five years, starting January 1, 2019.

 

Home Care Dues for Members Currently on Percentage Dues Structure

Effective January 1, 2019, the dues rate for members working in home care under the State contract will be as follows:

3% of gross wages, per pay period, to a maximum of $36 per pay period. The minimum dues per pay period will be $5.

 

In all cases the Executive Board of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota shall have the authority to approve a reasonable delay in implementation of the changes for administrative or organizing purposes to reduce the percentage or maximum dues rates per pay period, for any members in any bargaining unit, for administrative or organizing purposes, provided that there is no resulting dues increase for any members of the Union.

Members working under contracts with more, or fewer, than 26 pay periods per year, will have the per pay period percentages, minimums and maximums adjusted to be equal to the 26 pay period calculation in the above dues structure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Twin City Hospitals Contract Ratified

170818_TCH Bargaining_Contract Ratified

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SEIU Condemns Terror Attacks

SEIU members and leaders have categorically condemned the violence that took place at the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota last week and again in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend. Our Union pledges to continue to fight to eliminate racism wherever it is found!

Several members of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota worship at the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, MN. They want and deserve a place to worship without fear and we stand with them and all members of the Muslim faith at this time.

In Charlottesville, Virginia, a violent, hate filled rally by right wing extremists like the KKK and Neo Nazis resulted in the death of Heather Heyer, a counter protester, and dozens of additional injuries. The rally was billed as an opportunity for white Americans to fight the influence of Jews in our culture. We stand with our Jewish sisters and brothers, with all immigrants and people of color and everyone else who was targeted by the speeches filled with hate.

As Trade Unionists it is of vital importance that we fight racism wherever we see it. We will make no progress improving our society, our workplaces, or the position of working families in our country unless we reckon with the history of racism and its continuing impact on our lives. Race is a social construct invented to divide us and it is only by coming together, not by ignoring our differences but by embracing and working across our differences, that we are able to make progress.

In the words of Nelson Mandela “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love. For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

I also want to echo the words of our own Executive Vice President Jigme Ugen, who emailed a message out to the SEIU staff yesterday- “We must condemn white nationalism, reject hatred, and organize our communities to eliminate racism at all levels. Meanwhile, please take time to care for yourself and those around you with understanding and solidarity founded on the basis of love and humanity.”

I call on all on of us as Union leaders to pause and reflect; to share your thoughts and feelings this week with friends, family and co-workers.

In Love and Solidarity,

Jamie Gulley

SEIU HCMN President

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