3million.jpgFrom coast to coast this weekend, tens of thousands of SEIU members will knock on doors, make phone calls and rally behind candidates who will stand up for working men and women. It's all about putting people in office who will make the economy work for all of us, not just the wealthy few.

Between now and Election Day, they'll be joined by SEIU leaders: International President Mary Kay Henry and Executive Vice Presidents Kirk Adams, Gerry Hudson, Valarie Long and Rocio Sáenz, who will lift up events in Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

SEIU members: the work you're doing--making phone calls, knocking on doors, speaking one-on-one to voters--has truly added up. Members have already hit more than 3 million doors and are expected to hit 4+ million doors by Tuesday. Keep up with our progress and SEIU leaders' travels over the weekend and into Tuesday on Facebook.

This Election Day is an opportunity to stand up for the kind of future we want:

  • A future where everyone who works hard for a living can support their families without having to live on the brink.
  • A future where everyone has access to affordable healthcare thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
  • A future where immigrant families can come out of the shadows and into the light of our economy and society.
  • A future where there's justice for all--regardless of where you were born or what ZIP code you live in.

If you're canvassing, phone-banking or otherwise working to support candidates who share our vision for the future, thank you.

And don't forget to pledge to vote on Tuesday. You can also use this online tool to find your polling location.

See you at the polls!

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1:41 PM Eastern - Thursday, October 30, 2014

Do it for our families #default

Pledge to vote to create a better future for our children

I've worked hard for over four decades to give my family a better life. But after working at Popeye's Chicken in Milwaukee for almost two years, I am still paid only $7.25 per hour -- a wage so low that I qualify for food stamps.

It's hard, but I survive. Because I'll never give up on the dream to ensure our children and grandchildren have better opportunities.

I fight every day for my family, my community and fast food workers across the country for a fair wage we can live on of $15 an hour. Next Tuesday, I'm going to take this fight to the voting booth.

Will you pledge to join me and be a voter on November 4th?

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2:22 PM Eastern - Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Home Care Worker Patricia Evans: 'The entire country needs us to make a living wage' #default

Home Care Worker Patricia Evans: 'The entire country needs us to make a living wage'SEIU Healthcare Illinois member Patricia Evans, a home care worker from Chicago, told a Capitol Hill briefing on "Long Term Services and Supports: The Workforce Challenge" the nation needs its working people to make a living wage.

"We work hard and we deserve a living wage; people who work ought to be able to support their family. These are a few reasons why we deserve a raise. But it's not just about us. There are reasons why everyone else needs us to make a living wage.

"The baby boomers, their family, and friends need us to make a living wage. The entire country needs us to make a living wage.

"In August of this year, Standard and Poor's issued a report stating 'severe income inequality is holding back economic growth in the U.S.' As I tell my co-workers, 'that means us being underpaid.'

"It is both our responsibility and duty as citizens of this country to demand the salary we earn. Historical evidence demonstrates that whenever the minimum wage is increased, it is followed by an increase in the economy. When a minimum wage worker gets a salary increase, they do not hide it in an offshore account to avoid paying taxes on it. They spend it. They take their kids out for a meal or the movies. They purchase all those things they've postponed buying because there's never enough money. My friend, Danielle, would enroll her son in his school's football program and her daughter in dance classes--and not have to worry if she could still put food on the table. Our spending would create jobs, not destroy them."

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12:07 PM Eastern - Wednesday, October 29, 2014

#RaiseAmerica with Good Jobs:
Justice for Janitors

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9:41 AM Eastern - Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ebola: Information for Front-Line Caregivers #default

We can stop the Ebola virus. Nurses have always been on front lines caring for patients with infectious disease and have a critical role to play as part of the healthcare teams that will control the spread of this infectious virus. We will ensure healthcare workers on the front lines are trained to identify the virus and safely care for patients, the public and our colleagues.

SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry released a statement calling on employers to support and prepare healthcare and service workers who are on the front lines to beat this virus. Read her statement here.

SEIU Healthcare will continue to coordinate efforts with hospitals, clinics and other workplaces to ensure our fellow workers across the country are prepared and have access to the most up-to-date information--click here to visit the SEIU Ebola informational website.

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4:46 PM Eastern - Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mary Kay Henry to Gawker Readers: Stakes Are High for Working Families #default

SEIU President Mary Kay Henry participated this morning in a live chat on the news, politics, media and "talk of the town" website Gawker. Answering readers' questions about the 2014 vote--and how working families will head to the polls to support candidates who are committed to making the economy work for everyone, not just the wealthy few--Mary Kay shared her thoughts on the economy and what working people are doing to fight back.

Mary Kay told Gawker that America's economic system favors big business and the wealthy few. She shared her thoughts on the economy and what working people are doing to fight back Tuesday with the "talk of the town" website's readers.

Noting that Mary Kay Henry is "one of the most influential and politically active labor leaders in America" and that SEIU "is playing a large role in organizing the ongoing push to increase wages for fast-food workers and Wal-Mart workers. The 2 million-member international union is... advocating for universal health care, immigration reform, gay rights and, perhaps most importantly, more money for working Americans," Gawker invited its visitors to ask Mary Kay about "labor, inequality, politics, organizing or anything else."

In response to a question by a worker who is employed by a "conservative company" and frequently debates her co-workers about the benefits of unionism, Mary Kay replied: "We are in a system that has been rigged in favor of the wealthy and corporations--so while people THINK that it is every person for themselves, in reality, it's a system that subsidizes corporations [that pay low wages] with taxpayer dollars and gives huge tax breaks to billionaires and corporations."

When asked about the recent wave of strikes by working men and women who are not paid a fair wage, Mary Kay said: "Working people are creative both in making ends meet and in standing up what they deserve ... . Wherever workers want to organize, we will be there to support them."

Mary Kay had the opportunity to discuss everything from:

Election Work: "We've got 300 members working full time recruiting 25,000 to volunteer for this election and we're working with strategic partners inside and outside labor"...

...to Wisconsin Politics: "By the way, Mary Burke has Scott Walker on the ropes in Wisconsin and voters are poised to hold him accountable"...

...to Thanksgiving Dinner: "Challenge your friends and family at the Thanksgiving table this year to stand with workers."

When asked about the recent wave of strikes by working people who are not paid a fair wage, Mary Kay said, "Working people are creative both in making ends meet and in standing up for what they deserve.... Wherever workers want to organize, we will be there to support them."

Read the entire discussion on Gawker.

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3:03 PM Eastern - Thursday, October 23, 2014

Castaneda Brings Support and Encouragement to Typhoon-Damaged Philippines Communities #default

In the towns of Tanauan and Tacloban in the hard-hit Philippines province of Leyte, SEIU 1199 Secretary-Treasurer Maria Castaneda checked on the progress of the rehabilitation and rebuilding projects necessitated by last year's Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), which was one of the strongest tropical disturbances ever recorded.

Castaneda Brings Support and Encouragement to Typhoon-Damaged Philippines Communities

Castaneda attended the "blessing of the boats" and their turnover to a community group called the Bangon Magay Association, and visited the damaged Maribi Elementary School. The school is being rebuilt with the support of The Malaya and Tala Fund, a partner of SEIU. The school building was destroyed during the super-typhoon and students have been occupying tents as temporary learning facilities.

Castaneda Brings Support and Encouragement to Typhoon-Damaged Philippines Communities

SEIU also donated 20 "trisikad" units to a pair of community groups in Tacloban City, Leyte. Trisikads are pedestrian cabs commonly used by Philippines travelers. The typhoon had destroyed the beneficiaries' vehicles, forcing the trisikad drivers to rent pedi-cabs for 60 pesos a day to continue their livelihood. They were earning only five pesos per ride, so the rental took a major bite from their daily income.

Watch the video of the reconstruction efforts on YouTube.

Read Inquirer.net coverage of Maria Castaneda's visit.

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12:32 PM Eastern - Thursday, October 23, 2014

Our country needs a big dose of education justice #default

early-learning-voter-final3.jpgEvery day, family child care providers, center workers and Head Start teachers are speaking up to take action with elected officials and create change in their communities.

Yet the work to ensure all children have access to a quality, affordable education continues. And far too many of our families are struggling to make ends meet in this economy.

But it doesn't have to be this way. We live in a country of tremendous wealth and resources. If we start making the right investments, our children will grow up to be a smart and productive generation of Americans. We've been so inspired by fast-food workers and their Fight for $15 and a union to provide for their families. That's why providers and parents are leading the charge to raise standards and wages in early learning so they can support their families, too.

Let your family and friends know you're stepping up to join the fight for early learning and child care this Election Day. Share this badge on your Facebook page now.

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4:23 PM Eastern - Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Victory for Missouri Home Care Workers! #default

Victory for Missouri Home Care Workers!

After almost a year of bargaining, Missouri home care workers have reached a historic agreement with the state's Quality Home Care Council that will raise wages from an average of $8.58 per hour up to $10.15 per hour for many. Home care workers will also receive holiday pay for the first time.

This victory comes just a week after hundreds of home care workers met at the Home Care Workers Rising summit in St. Louis and rallied to demand Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon raise wages. More than a hundred home workers united in SEIU's Home Care Fight for $15 - both union and nonunion - attended the summit.

The agreement allows consumers to determine the wages of their home care workers. Choosing from a "wage range" of $8.50 to $10.15, consumers will be directly involved with workers and the union. The Missouri Home Care Union bargaining team viewed this unique proposal as a way to strengthen the relationship between better jobs and quality care.

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4:35 PM Eastern - Monday, October 20, 2014

Ebola: Partnering with Healthcare Workers Is Step One #default

It comes as no surprise in our global transportation age that the Ebola virus--once isolated to Western Africa--would eventually reach the United States. But this week we were deeply concerned by the diagnosis of not just one, but two healthcare workers at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Now, our challenge is to share up-to-date information and collaborate in the way that all public health crises demand, to contain the Ebola virus and keep front-line healthcare workers and their patients healthy.

We urge employers to take responsibility for worker, patient and consumer safety, and institute protocols and a tailored worksite plan that don't just meet, but exceed current recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Effective worksite plans should:

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