Why have SEIU and Workers United Affiliated?

A common mission, a common history and common challenges in this new economy bring Workers United and SEIU together to achieve their mutual goal of bringing dignity and security to members and workers in the garment, textile, laundry, distribution, property services and hospitality industries.

SEIU and Workers United share a mission of fighting to protect some of the most exploited workers in our nation doing some of the most difficult, demanding and dangerous jobs. We have both fought for women, people of color, and immigrants who have sought their entry point to the American dream. We have both built our work on fulfilling the dreams of workers who struggle in low-wage jobs, but aspire to turn those jobs into a vehicle to give their families a better life.

SEIU and Workers United share a history of transforming working conditions and bringing change to entire industries. Workers United was born from some of the oldest and most important unions of our country. Beginning nearly 100 years ago, these predecessor unions transformed our economy by exposing sweatshops in the garment industry and rallied an entire nation to demand improved conditions and safety for workers. More recently, Workers United affiliates have transformed the commercial laundry industry by organizing workers in many North American cities including in anti-union strongholds in the South and Southwest. Similarly, SEIU has transformed the building services trades, including incredible global campaigns for janitorial and security workers.

SEIU and Workers United know that together our members can increase their strength and their prospects for the future. The consolidation of power and ownership has property services workers and hospitality workers sharing many of the same managers and owners. Working side by side in many properties, SEIU and Workers United Members can help each other meet the challenges of the modern economy and join their voices in speaking out to their employers.

SEIU and affiliates of Workers United have already begun working together through Service Workers United. This revolutionary campaign, which has organized nearly 20,000 workers already, recognized that workers in each union's core jurisdictions (building services, laundry and food services) were all being employed by the same multi-service companies. Service Workers United is a model of success that heralds the tremendous potential of this alliance to transform an entire industry.

SEIU and Workers United together can change the future for working people in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Today, the new economy and the economic crisis before us present new challenges. Globalization, consolidation and eight years of an economic race to the bottom have left workers once again at the mercy of exploitive bosses who sit remote in their multinational firms caring little for the prosperity of their workers and only for their profit margin. Throughout the U.S. and Canada, millions of hotel, hospitality and gaming workers have been left to fend for themselves. Together we can give those workers a voice and a chance to fulfill their own dreams.

SEIU and Workers United stand at a transformational moment in our history, facing tremendous challenges, but poised to redefine how this country values work and the hardworking women and men who can restore prosperity to our nation. SEIU and Worker's United know our wealth is work. Together we can transform our nation and turn hundreds of thousands of low-wage jobs into the good, family-sustaining, middle class jobs that will help achieve economic and social justice for our members now and into the future.

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