Sara Lonardo,

Issued March 19, 2019

SEIU’s Henry: SEIU welcomes staff taking collective action through their union

The following statement from SEIU president Mary Kay Henry is in response to the contract dispute between SEIU and its staff represented by OPEIU Local 2 that has resulted in wild and sensational headlines:

“I am proud that SEIU staff are united in their union, and I fully support their right to take collective action. At SEIU, we know how important it is for workers to have a vibrant, inclusive process to have their voices heard.

“SEIU supports and respects our staff’s right to strike. Having a voice in a union and taking collective action—including going on strike—is what SEIU is fighting to win for all working people, no matter where they are from, what their race is, or where they work.

“We bargained with Local 2 in good faith for six months before we presented a last, best and final contract offer that we are proud of. While we could not meet all of their demands, our proposal included an 8% raise, improvements to healthcare coverage, and continuation of the job guarantee for all current staff. After Local 2 rejected that contract, we made an offer to go to mediation that Local 2 has accepted. This is what it looks like when workers have a voice in a union—and though we are the employer in this case, we stand firm in our belief that all working people, no matter where they work, should have a voice through a union.

“We have a nearly 50-year relationship with Local 2, and while we have had disagreements over the years, we’ve always been able to work them out. We are confident that we will soon reach a resolution.”