JVK worker leader Juan Salguero with his family.
Industrial laundry workers at JVK Operations in Long Island, NY voted overwhelming to join the Laundry, Distribution and Food Service Joint Board, Workers United/ SEIU in a representation election on Monday.
The laundry workers, who wash sheets, gowns and other medical linen for top New York hospitals, wanted to improve their laundry and began organizing a union with SEIU a year ago. The largely immigrant workforce, hailing from Central and South America, faced an intense anti-union campaign, but courageously continued to stand up for a fair, dignified and safe workplace.
"If it wasn't for the union I don't know what could have happened to me," said Juan Salguero, a JVK worker leader, "This is a good union that continues to stand by me."
Although JVK workers faced serious challenges organizing their union they are looking forward to the future as members of SEIU. Over 80% of medical laundry workers in the New York metro area are members of SEIU and have free healthcare and other important benefits and protections. JVK workers are eager to join with them as they continue to raise standards for all industrial laundry workers.