SEIU Media,

Issued March 13, 2024

Workers Ready to Make Decisive Impact in 2024 Elections

SEIU planning biggest political program ever to reach 6 million multiracial voters in battleground states and build on momentum of a year of strikes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) today announced a massive drive to mobilize working class voters—Black, white, Latino, Asian—in key battleground states and congressional districts to build on the momentum of the past year of worker strikes and union organizing and win Unions for All.

Coming off a wave of worker strikes resulting in unprecedented wins—from Kaiser caregivers to autoworkers, Starbucks baristas to UPS drivers, Hollywood writers and actors to California fast food workers—workers will now take that energy from the strike lines to the ballot box to elect leaders like President Biden who have stood with workers.

“Our votes are our demand for a better future,” said SEIU Secretary-Treasurer April Verrett. “Workers walked the picket lines for better pay and better jobs, and we will vote for the same reasons. Workers of all races know what’s at stake in this election, and will take our energy from the strike lines to the ballot box to support candidates who side with us instead of price-gouging, union-busting corporations.”

SEIU will spend $200 million unionwide on engaging voters, the union’s largest election investment ever. The union aims to reach 6 million voters of color in the important battleground states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina. The union will engage multiracial working class voters who are less likely to vote or have never voted at all through field programs, relational organizing, earned media, and paid media, partnering with community groups who are trusted messengers in their communities. This work increased turnout by 27% in 2022 with voters that the coalition reached.

The union and its allies have been on the doors talking to voters since September 2023, with voter contact canvasses knocking on the doors of half a million voters in eight states already. They found that the economy is voters’ number one issue, including rising prices, low wages, and specific challenges in healthcare and the costs of care, including home care and childcare, housing, and food prices. Multiracial working class voters also experience attacks on reproductive rights as an economic issue, impacting their ability to decide when and how to raise a family.

SEIU’s focus on turning out multiracial working class voters includes driving messages out in seven languages to reach voters where they are at. For example, the union has a robust media strategy that taps into Spanish-speaking local markets with earned media coverage, opinion pieces, and creative paid media, including ad buys on streaming platforms such as Youtube, where a significant number of Latinos get news and information.

SEIU endorsed President Biden last April, and plans to drive a message in battleground states that paints a picture of a future where all workers can join unions and contrasts how the president has backed workers with how Donald Trump has sided with big corporations and tried to take healthcare coverage and reproductive rights away from millions.

“This election, workers are going to vote for candidates up and down the ballot who’ve got their back,” said SEIU Executive Vice President Rocio Sáenz. “They are ready to support candidates like President Biden, who walked the picket line, took on big corporations, and invested in good, union jobs. Workers don’t want leaders who blame immigrants for everything while giving tax breaks to billionaires and trying to take our healthcare away.”

“President Biden understands unions and gives us the support we need,” said SEIU-Workers United member Frenchie Barnes, a warehouse worker in North Carolina. “He stands behind us, and he really believes in working class people. He knows we have a struggle going on to provide for our families.”

SEIU will leverage its organizational and electoral strengths to shape key races in this election and drive a Unions for All agenda. Control of the closely divided House will hinge on the “Biden swing districts” in California and New York, states in which SEIU has an extraordinarily strong membership presence and voting power. SEIU will also target races with worker-friendly Senate candidates in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona, Ohio and Montana.

Our votes determine our future. Working people across Wisconsin are determined to elect leaders who will stand up to billionaires and corporate lobbyists and will fight for good jobs, affordable prescriptions, and the freedom to join a union,” said Jamie Orvis, a housekeeper at UnityPoint Health-Meriter Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin and member of SEIU Wisconsin.

Lourdes Perez, a nurse technician in Lancaster, California, reflected, “I was proud to stand in solidarity with my fellow healthcare workers in dialysis who went on strike in 2023 to organize a union. I felt the power workers have when we come together to demand what we need.We need relief on drug prices, paid leave, and housing. If Congress won’t act, workers will drive record turnout to elect leaders who will fight for working families.”