Sara Lonardo

Issued February 01, 2021

Mary Kay Henry statement on the passing of former SEIU President John Sweeney


San Francisco, Calif. - Service Employees International Union (SEIU) International President Mary Kay Henry released the following statement today on the passing of former SEIU President John Sweeney:

“John Sweeney believed in a labor movement that included everyone. He put action behind those beliefs, making it his life’s mission to build a more inclusive union. His commitment to organizing helped pave the way to building SEIU into the two million-strong union of service and care workers that it is today. John’s leadership made a lasting impact on all working people through his generosity and willingness to take risks.

“Without John’s risk-taking, I might not be lucky enough to be part of the SEIU family today. When he hired me in 1980 to organize healthcare workers, that was not a job women did. And when I took risks and stood with allies for pay equity, he had my back, as he continued to do for the rest of his career, including when he nominated me to my first term on SEIU’s International Executive Board. John was equal parts generosity and fearlessness, and the labor movement is better for it. My thoughts are with his family in this difficult time. Rest in power, John.”