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SEIU: Snapshots

Here are some facts about SEIU you might want to tell new members about.

  • SEIU was founded in 1921 by a handful of immigrant janitors. Today it unites 2 million members.
  • SEIU headquarters is located in Washington, D.C. Members are organized in some 300 local unions throughout the continent. SEIU belongs to the Change to Win Federation (CtW) and the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).
  • SEIU' s over 2 million members represent hundreds of different occupations including janitors, doctors, school workers, social workers, nurses, engineers, taxi drivers, and government workers throughout the continental United States, Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. We' re the most diverse union anywhere.
  • SEIU is the largest union for healthcare and building service workers. It's the second-largest union for public employees
  • SEIU members have contracts with 12,000 different employers.
  • Half of SEIU's members are women, more than the workforce in general. Almost three-quarters of our members live in two-worker families.
  • More than 40 percent of SEIU members are minorities, compared to 25 percent of the workforce in general.
  • Sixty percent of our members are 40 years of age or more, which makes us older than the workforce as a whole.
  • Among the languages spoken in SEIU local unions: English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Polish, Italian, Portuguese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Arabic, French, Japanese, Creole, and Greek. That' s just some.
  • Most SEIU members work in metropolitan areas. New York (300,000), Los Angeles (205,000), and Chicago (90,000) are the biggest.
  • Of SEIU's over 2 million members, more than half work for federal, state, or local governments.
  • The hundreds of job occupations represented by SEIU are grouped into four major divisions: hospital systems, public employees, property services and security, and long term care.
  • The SEIU International Convention held every four years is the highest governing body of the union. Delegates representing every SEIU member must approve all decisions and policies of the union, including any dues increases.
  • Between conventions, SEIU is governed by an International president, a secretary-treasurer, 14 vice presidents, four executive vice presidents, and a 42-member executive board elected by the convention. As a result, most SEIU members have a direct voice on the SEIU executive board.
  • SEIU local unions have more autonomy than most unions. Local union members elect their own officers, write their own constitutions and bylaws, and negotiate their own contracts. Local union members must approve any strike in accordance with their established policies and procedures.
  • Fewer than two percent of SEIU labor agreements ever involve a strike.