You'd think that airlines and their contractors would have their house in order by now, right?
airport infection control - add your voice
But weeks after the Ebola crisis brought national headlines on airlines and their contractors' lack of infection control preparedness, a new survey shows little has changed for most airport workers. They still have had little training or equipment to do the job safely since the Centers for Disease Control introduced new guidelines.

Too often the stories of airport workers go untold. It's sad but true. Airport workers have reported exposure to bodily fluids, blood-borne pathogens, unlabeled chemical cleaners - and if we want those problems fixed, we have to show that the world is watching.

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12:02 PM Eastern - Friday, November 7, 2014

Haiyan One Year Later: Providing Relief to a Climate Change Disaster #default

A year ago on November 8, Super Typhoon Haiyan crashed into the Philippines. It was the strongest tropical cyclone to ever make landfall -- killing more than 6,000 people and bringing with it flooding, landslides, and widespread damage. In all, the disaster impacted 16 million people. More than 4 million people were displaced and 6 million workers had their livelihoods stripped away.

As in previous disasters, SEIU members sprang into action - donating funds and expertise, raising more than $450,000 within 2 weeks. SEIU staff and members with connections on the ground jumped into action and found out how we could help directly.
In total, the SEIU Haiyan Relief Fund sent more than $580,000 directly to the Philippines for disaster relief and reconstruction.

A staff person whose mother lives in Tacloban opened her house to be a central point of coordinating relief efforts. She helped us organize where our immediate relief funds could go and connected us with organizations.

According to the world's scientific experts, super storms like Haiyan and Sandy are linked to climate change, and increasing in both severity and frequency.

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3:13 PM Eastern - Thursday, November 6, 2014

Applauding the President for Re-Committing to Executive Action on Immigration #default

America's working families know what an incredible asset immigrant communities are to our nation's workforce and economy. We also know who is to blame for refusing to pass comprehensive immigration reform: Republican Congressional leadership.

Yesterday, as Republican Congressional Leaders issued threats, President Obama reiterated his determination to do what is in his authority to do and provide relief for our country's immigrant families and communities as soon as possible.

We fully support his commitment; it is urgently needed. Millions of immigrants need to be brought out of the shadows and into the light of our economy and society through bold and decisive action from the President.

Republican leaders are already playing politics by trying to stop the president from taking administrative action. Sen. McConnell said that executive action would be like waving a red flag in front of a bull. Their game of bullying and politics forces millions of immigrant families to wait in fear of separation, living in the shadows day after day.

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3:42 PM Eastern - Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Takeaways from the 2014 Elections for Working Families #default

Despite a tough night with many close races, a key takeaway from Election Day is the progress made toward raising wages for working families for an economy that works for all of us, not just the wealthy few.

Raising the minimum wage was a winning issue yesterday in red, blue, and purple states.
In deeply conservative states like Nebraska and South Dakota, the economy isn't working for working people and the message from voters was clear: we've got to increase wages.

In San Francisco, where workers will get to $15 an hour a year ahead of Seattle, we saw incredible momentum built from the Fight for $15, where workers have had the courage to come out and call for wages they can raise a family on without having to cobble together 2-3 jobs and still live on the brink.

Working families issues also prevailed in Oakland with the increase in the wage to $12.25 and earned sick time, which also passed in Massachusetts.

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5:17 PM Eastern - Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Election Day 2014: It takes teamwork to make a dream work #default

"It takes teamwork to make a dream work." That's what Tamir Robinson said to me in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood of North Philadelphia this morning as I set out for one very robust final day of driving voters to the polls.

We heard at the morning launch how this incredible team of canvass leaders from our local unions--Workers United, 32BJ, Healthcare Pennsylvania and Local 668--shattered their goal of 3,000 door knocks yesterday. They knocked on 4,000 doors in a single day.

Tamir demonstrated how he gets his "pre-game" tight so he can call the person who answers the door by name. And he's ready to ask for the second, third and fourth household members on his address lists by name, too.

I witnessed how Tamir tried to move one 76-year-old voter who only votes in presidential elections. He made a strong case about Gov. Tom Corbett's destruction of Philadelphia schools. Tamir ended with a plea that we need to vote for the future of his grandchild.

More lessons in teamwork from the dream team in North Philly

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7:36 AM Eastern - Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November 4 ... It's here! #default

20141103-TomfromPhilly-emailgraphic.jpgThree years ago, I got a layoff notice after 17 years on the job as a maintenance mechanic for the School District of Philadelphia. Nearly 3,000 of my co-workers who clean and maintain the schools were also told that their services would "no longer be needed" due to budget cuts.

These are the kinds of devastating attacks Pennsylvanians like myself had to suffer because of Republican Governor Corbett, as did countless other families in states with Republican governors all across America. But here's what I also know: we've spent years fighting back, and today is the day we VOTE and make a better future for ourselves and our families.

Together we can stop dangerous politicians who cut public education to the bone and then balance the budget on the backs of working people. But we can't do that unless you go VOTE today.

Fight back by going to the polls and voting.

Thanks to my co-workers and community coming together we were able to save our jobs for the time being. But my co-workers and I know that if Governor Corbett is re-elected, it's doomsday for us and for public education in Pennsylvania. In every state across our country, we need to support candidates who will make the economy work for all of us, not just the wealthy few.

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9:19 PM Eastern - Monday, November 3, 2014

Determined Illinois Canvassers Surge Past Goals, Offer Tips and Inspiration for Final Hours of GOTV #default

On the final day of early voting in Illinois, I kicked off our efforts with our hardworking crew in suburban Cook County. They were part of a record-breaking number on Saturday by knocking on 250,000 doors in Illinois and helping us surge past our goal of 4 million doors knocked nationally.

As we welcomed the volunteers in Maywood, Shane Johnson shared lessons he's learned as a leader in the Raise the Wage Illinois campaign. They are lessons any of us can benefit from in the closing hours of GOTV.

Lessons in Discipline from "Peek-A-Boo" Voters

First, understand that some people won't be happy to see you. It's okay -- greet them with a smile anyway and get your job done.

Second, be aware of the "peek-a-boo-ers." They see you through their blinds or door window and you make a difference just by knocking on their door and leaving a door hanger. You'll get them to think and maybe encourage them to vote.

Third, elections are like parties: you invite more people than will eventually show up. So we have to talk to thousands more people than we need at turn out in order to win. That's helpful to remember in the final two hours of a volunteer shift.

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3:51 PM Eastern - Monday, November 3, 2014

Getting out the Vote for Struggling Classrooms and the Minimum Wage - 
with President Obama and Boisterous Michigan Voters #default

With the clock counting down to Election Day, I spent the weekend with incredible SEIU members, President Obama and community allies as part of a whirlwind push from Michigan to Illinois to Pennsylvania for candidates who will take action to make our economy work for everyone again. Let me tell you a few stories about how our Michigan members are turning their passionate concerns into concrete results.

A provocative question from President Obama

As we gathered at a local restaurant in Michigan to take stock of an amazing day, SEIU member leaders from Muskegon, Saginaw and Midland described how moved they were by President Obama's powerful remarks at a rally with us.

The choice we face in this election, he said, is between two very different visions for America. And the president said the question voters have to ask themselves is: "Who do you believe is standing up for you?"

Good Michigan candidates would put books for kids over tax cuts for the wealthy few

In Detroit, the answer is Mark Schauer for governor, Gary Peters for U. S. Senate. In all the major races in Michigan, from school board to state legislators, voters such as volunteers on our team in Dearborn Heights made no mistake they plan to firmly reject the extremist Republican agenda that is: taking $1 billion from education; forcing 40 children into one classroom, where they share outdated books they can't take home; and giving even more tax breaks to big corporations and the wealthy few.

One voter's plan to be "first in line" at the voting booths

"I plan to be the first in line on Tuesday," one woman said when I got to her door with my partners. "We need a governor who will put $1 billion back into education and give our children equal opportunity to succeed. We need elected officials who will fight to raise wages and create good jobs, and that starts with the minimum wage."

Along with my partners, Keith Whitley and Keela Wade, I was amazed. We thought this voter had been in our local union hall the past three years, hearing us all say the exact same things.

Then she got in her car, drove up next to us, honked her horn, rolled down her window and did a sports holler. She woke up the whole neighborhood for us so all of her neighbors will also be among the first to get out and vote.

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11:27 AM Eastern - Monday, November 3, 2014

We Can Be The Difference #default

Right now, voters across the country are going to the polls at a time when there is so much at stake for working people like you.

As SEIU members, we know we can make the impossible possible when we unite with one, powerful voice. We're doing it together now in the Fight for $15 movement that has swept the country, and we do it in our communities every day.

On November 4th, let's do it again!

Watch the video below to see why voting on November 4th is so important. Share it with fellow union members, and make a plan to vote.

20141027-MKHemailbutton.jpg

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
  • Everyone has access to affordable healthcare thanks to the Affordable Care Act
  • Immigrant families can come out of the shadows and into the light of our economy and society
  • There's justice for all--regardless of where you were born or what zip code you live in

In order to make this future a reality, we must go out and VOTE in support of candidates who want the same future we do--and are willing to stand up and fight for it.

Your voice matters. Watch our video and spread the word about what's at stake.

In 2012, we made history by getting out to vote and by encouraging your brothers and sisters to do the same. Together, we can make history again in 2014.

But to do that, we need you, our families, and our communities to vote.

Thanks for making your voice heard!

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9:12 AM Eastern - Sunday, November 2, 2014

Getting out the Vote--and Building Leadership--with the Wolf Pack in Pennsylvania #default

Few hours remain between now and Election Day and I am traveling from Michigan to Illinois to Pennsylvania to help our dedicated members across the country rally behind candidates who will make the economy work for all of us. It is very busy in the field, but I wanted to take a few minutes to share scenes from my last stop, in Pittsburgh, because it was so inspiring.

Our member political organizers (MPO) in Pennsylvania are getting out the vote for candidates -- but even as they do so, they are showing a commitment to growth and sustainable leadership that will be critical as we build power through 2016, 2020 and beyond.

I had the honor of listening to our SEIU Pennsylvania Wolf Pack -- supporters of Democratic nominee for governor Tom Wolf. They have been "combing the streets of Pittsburgh," convincing their community to use their voice and get out and vote. What struck me was how everyone mentioned how much they had learned about leading -- and that their leads had pushed and challenged them to do much more than knock doors and produce votes.

Eleven member leaders who work as cleaners (32BJ SEIU), registered nurses and nursing assistants (SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania) and public employees (SEIU Local 668) -- joined by two community leaders from ONE Pittsburgh -- have knocked on 35,000 doors, encouraging working women and men to vote for Tom Wolf.

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