Aurore Tellier-Gomez, SEIU Communications,, 832-689-6826

Issued April 17, 2024

SEIU Members Launch Virginia State Council to Build Power and Win Unions for All

New council will boost organizing, legislative, and electoral campaigns to help workers win good union jobs and justice throughout the Commonwealth

VIRGINIA – Today, 32BJ SEIU and SEIU Virginia 512 members announce the launch of the SEIU Virginia State Council, to win good union jobs for all working families across the Commonwealth. Under the new structure, members and not-yet-union workers will come together to organize, mobilize, elect champions, and hold corporations and elected officials accountable.

The SEIU Virginia State Council’s two locals represent over 11,000 members across the commonwealth, including frontline home care workers, janitors, airport workers, county and city employees, security officers, and more. 32BJ SEIU Executive Vice President Jaime Contreras will serve as Chair of the State Council, and SEIU Virginia 512 President LaNoral Thomas will serve as Treasurer. David Broder will serve as the SEIU Virginia State Council’s Executive Director.

In recent years, Virginia workers have advanced economic, racial, and immigrant justice by repealing the 45-year ban on local collective bargaining, winning union rights for tens of thousands of workers, and negotiating historic contracts to raise pay and benefits. Contracted janitors at VCU, Richmond City employees, and Loudoun County employees are among those who have successfully organized with SEIU to win a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities.

The SEIU Virginia State Council will harness this momentum and build strength in numbers to make Virginia a commonwealth where all working people can thrive. We demand that elected officials and corporations write new rules that allow all workers - regardless of the color of their skin, their immigration status, or where or how they work - to form strong industry-wide unions. 

“For decades, working Virginians of all backgrounds have come together, bravely organized, and fought for a better future for all,” said LaNoral Thomas, President of SEIU Virginia 512. “This council is the next step in taking our work further so that we can eliminate poverty jobs, and ensure every worker experiences the union difference by first having the right to join a union and bargain for a living wage, health care, and a secure retirement. We are building a Virginia that works for everyone, not just billionaires.”

“Even in the heart of the former confederacy, the demand for good union jobs can no longer be ignored when worker victories keep making headlines nationwide,” said Jaime Contreras, Executive Vice President of 32BJ SEIU. “The difference that these wage increases and benefits make in the lives of working families cannot be overestimated and they are only possible through a union.”

Union members united in the SEIU Virginia State Council will take action tonight, Wednesday, April 17th at the Fairfax County budget hearings to demand fair raises, job protections, and affordable health care for frontline county employees, and on Thursday, April 18, as home care workers, public service workers, allies, and community members join airport workers, elected officials, and candidates for Congress for a march and rally at Dulles Airport in support of access to affordable health care and paid sick leave for airport service workers.


About SEIU Virginia State Council

The SEIU Virginia State Council unites the more than 11,000 frontline union members of SEIU 32BJ and SEIU Virginia 512 to fight for good union jobs and economic, racial, and immigrant justice for all working people across the Commonwealth.

Click here for the SEIU Virginia State Council website.