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As we embark on a New Year, let's look back at our accomplishments and celebrate our hard work. I'm proud of the progress we make as a movement. Every victory, no matter how big or small, builds a path to power for all working people and you made it happen.

Working families had victories all across the country:

  • The Fight for $15: This incredible movement has now spread across every service industry in our country. What started out as a strike at a McDonald's in New York has now grown to home care workers caring for those in need and airport workers around the nation.

  • Immigration Action: SEIU members joined the chorus of millions calling for administrative relief to families by delivering more than 250,000 signatures. Shortly thereafter, President Obama issued an executive order to do the work Congress failed to do for immigrant families.

  • Raising Wages: Voters in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Oakland, California and San Francisco voted to raise the minimum wage.

  • Healthcare: SEIU members reached 2.5 million individuals through our education and outreach about the Affordable Care Act. Over 8 million people who were previously uninsured or underinsured signed up for health coverage through state and federal marketplaces and 4.3 million more signed up for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.

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8:58 AM Eastern - Monday, December 22, 2014

Sandwich Generation: Forced to Choose Between Kids, Parents and Making a Living #default

Just like millions of other Americans, I'm part of what's called the "sandwich generation". We're trying to figure out how to raise our children, take care of our aging and sick parents and stay afloat financially--all at the same time. As more and more people wait longer to start their own families and the largest generation of Americans get older, there will be even more families struggling to figure out how to make it all work.

Sandwich Generation: Forced to Choose Between Kids, Parents and Making a Living

Eight years ago, while I was a busy working mom raising five sons, my family was faced with a heartrending choice. My mother needed round-the-clock care and couldn't be left alone. She didn't want to go into a nursing home, but it looked like that was the only option. So I left my career in the insurance industry to become a home care worker. Losing my income was a huge sacrifice for my family, but it allowed my mother to stay out of an institution so she could stay in her home, with her family and her community.

In these last eight years, I've watched my sons grow from boys into men, and I'm proud to say I'm putting my fourth son through college right now. But making the choice to leave my middle-class job to join the rapidly growing low-wage workforce created a constant stream of other hard choices.

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1:45 PM Eastern - Friday, December 12, 2014

Health Marketplace Opening Successful: More than 450,000 Americans Signed Up for Health Insurance in the First Month #default

During this holiday season I hope that you have the opportunity to enjoy time with your family and friends.

SEIU President Mary Kay Henry released to following statements after the non-indictments in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Missouri and the choking death of Eric Garner in New York. It fills me with sadness as I think about the families and communities that feel the impact of a broken criminal justice system. However, it gives me great hope to know that SEIU members have joined in the demonstrations around the country and continue the fight against injustice wherever it is. All lives matter.

I am so proud of our SEIU brothers and sisters and community partners who helped kick off the smooth opening of the healthcare marketplaces on November 15. For example, SEIU-UHW hosted in-person enrollment events in three cities to help working women and men gain affordable coverage--many for the first time--and SEIU Local 503 has already helped 1,000 home care and personal support members sign up for lower-cost plans.

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10:13 PM Eastern - Friday, December 5, 2014

The Fight for $15 is all of our fight #default

This Washington Post headline marked out what was special about Thursday's fast food strikes, as fast food workers came together with home care, airport and other groups of workers across the nation.

Standing side-by-side
Shaquonica Johnson, Abera Siyoum and Guillermo Lindsey stand side-by-side

It's not just fast food: The Fight for $15 is for everyone now

After two and a half years working at a Minneapolis McDonald's, Guillermo Lindsey is struggling to support his young family on just $10.20 an hour. About five months ago, he became a leader in the Twin Cities Fight for $15, part of a growing national movement that has been credited with elevating the debate around inequality in the U.S.

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6:59 AM Eastern - Thursday, December 4, 2014

STRIKE! 190 U.S. cities and YOU #default

Major news: Convenience stores across the country are shut down this morning as workers walk off the job, demanding $15/hr and a union.

Thousands of workers in 190 cities are standing together to call for higher wages today. Fast food, home care, airports services, and convenience store workers are standing together in this powerful movement for a better economy.

This news is already BIG, but YOU can make it even bigger. Share our strike image with your friends and family and help us make history.

STRIKE: Thousands of workers in 190 cities are standing together to call for higher wages today.

Home care workers like me have led the fight for higher wages and better jobs for decades, winning union rights and raises. Airport services workers made history with a $15/hr minimum wage in Sea-Tac, Washington. Now, we're all a part of this powerful national movement.

And our movement is about so much more than $15/hr. Workers across the country are fighting for immigration reform -- to keep families together. We are calling for safety and justice for communities of color in the wake of decisions not to bring to trial the police officers who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

We're tired of working two jobs and still struggling to feed our families, while corporations reap record profits.

We're fed up with a system that works for so few -- and definitely not for us.

We're outraged that in America, an honest day's work isn't rewarded with a fair day's pay and that income inequality breaks down our families and our communities at every level.

And so, we are rising up.

We are standing together, in red states and blue, across faiths and neighborhoods and industries, to make our voices heard and to create a new path forward.

Together, we will win.

Be a part of this powerful movement. Spread the word on Facebook now.

(Follow all the action in real-time on Twitter at @SEIU and via hashtag #StrikeFastFood)

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3:01 PM Eastern - Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Home Care Workers' Fight for $15 Expands to 19 Cities #default

Three years after Occupy Wall Street declared "We are the 99%," and two years after New York City fast-food workers first went on strike for $15 an hour and union rights, the Fight for $15 continues to grow more vibrant and meaningful.

In Las Vegas, home care worker Katrinna Brass will head out to the strike lines for the first time tomorrow.

katrinna brass (homecare)-230px.jpg"All we are asking is for our voices to be heard, and to have a decent living wage--so we too can take care of our families. In 13 years, I've only seen one ten-cent raise. I make sacrifices in my own life to support other people and their families - can't we at least be paid enough to afford to take care of our own families?

"I'm joining this movement so I can be heard, and I want all the other home care workers in Nevada to come and be heard too."

Katrinna is not alone.

Union and non-union home care providers are standing with fast-food, airports services, Wal-mart, and other workers who are tired of struggling to pay their bills and feed their families. On September 4, home care workers in five cities rallied at Fight for 15 strike lines. Tomorrow, home care workers will more than triple their reach, supporting strike lines in 19 cities.

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1:04 PM Eastern - Tuesday, December 2, 2014

160 U.S. cities. STRIKE! #default

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Airport workers like me have been fighting for $15 an hour pay for a long time.

Our struggle--and help from supporters like you-- led Sea-Tac, Washington to become the first town in America to enact a $15/hour minimum wage. This historic victory inspired nearby Seattle to do the same.

We've had more victories too. But they haven't been enough.

That's why we're taking the huge step of joining together with fast food workers, home care workers and others on the picket lines on December 4 in strikes taking place in more than 160 cities. Will you stand with us?

As I've watched the Fight for $15 movement grow over the past two years, I have heard my story told through other workers' words many times. As an airport worker, I too make only minimum wage. I too work two jobs and still struggle to make ends meet. I too worry that the long hours I work will not be enough to raise my child the way I would like.

That's why on December 4th, I'll be standing proudly with fast food workers and home care workers on the strike line, calling for $15 and hour and the right to stick together in a union. Show your support by adding your name here.

My job at the Minneapolis - St. Paul International Airport is to transport seniors and people with disabilities to their gate on time. I work two jobs with no days off because I'll do anything I can to give my children an opportunity to live a good, prosperous, and happy life.

You see, my fight is not so different from the fight of fast food workers and so many other working people in America right now.

We live in the same communities, we suffer the same problems and that is why we are all determined to make a change. Together, we'll make our fight bigger, broader, and bolder than ever before.

Stand with me and all low-paid workers fighting for $15. Add your name, and together we can raise up wages, our families and our communities.

I'm showing up on December 4th. Will you?

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1:50 PM Eastern - Monday, December 1, 2014

Mary Kay Henry Joins WalMart Strikers on Black Friday #default

As deal-seeking shoppers stampeded into Wal-Marts across the country this "Black Friday," thousands of courageous men and women who work for the retail giant went on strike outside hundreds of stores. Echoing the call of the "Fight for $15," they drew attention to the company's substandard wages and benefits, which leave many of their employees dependent on public assistance.

SEIU President Mark Kay Henry joined striking workers outside the store in Milpitas, Calif. She was there representing SEIU's 2 million members and all working people to let Wal-Mart workers know that fast-food, airport and home care workers involved in the "Fight for $15" were in full support of the Wal-Mart strikers and their decision to fight back against the multibillion-dollar corporation.

"I stand with these workers who have shown courage and determination. When people work hard for a living, they ought to be able to take care of their families. Wal-Mart must do better," she told the crowd.

Each Wal-Mart store in the United States costs taxpayers between $900,000 and $1.75 million per year [pdf] because employees must turn to government aid to support their families. At the same time, the company pulls in $16 billion in profits, and the largest stockholders--four members of the founding Walton family--are collectively worth $145 billion.

Mary Kay Henry Joins Wal-Mart Strikers on Black Friday

Read more about huge Wal-Mart Black Friday strikes and the Fight for $15.

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9:27 PM Eastern - Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Turkey Talk #default

20141126-ThanksgivingTurkey.pngIn our busy lives, it's rare that we have an opportunity to sit down and share a full meal with our families. (Indeed, some men and women working in retail are being forced to work Thanksgiving day, which is a terrible shame.)

For many of us, though, between bites of lovingly prepared food, Thanksgiving with loved ones presents a unique opportunity to broaden the scope of conversation beyond the usual polite chit-chat.

If you dare to bring up certain "politically sensitive" topics like immigration and healthcare with your family over candied sweet potatoes this year, we've prepared some talking points.

We hope they help you have productive conversations this Thanksgiving holiday, maybe even with the aunt who thinks it's unjust to make corporations pay taxes because "they're the ones that create all the jobs."

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8:55 PM Eastern - Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Stand with Walmart workers on Black Friday #default

Stand with Walmart workers on Black FridayWalmart won't pay its employees enough to afford Thanksgiving dinner, so they're holding food drives for their employees. Seriously. It's been reported that an Oklahoma City Walmart set up bins for underpaid associates to donate canned goods to other underpaid associates.

We have a better idea, Walmart: Pay your workers enough to put food on the table.

If you agree, please join Walmart workers in their fight for $15 and full-time work ➞ click here to find a Black Friday protest near you.

Just like fast food and home care workers who went on strike in September to demand $15 an hour, Walmart workers are courageously standing up to challenge a system that keeps millions in poverty so a few massive corporations can make huge profits.

Nobody who works for one of the richest companies in the world should have to worry about their family not having enough to eat.

That's why I'm standing with Walmart workers this Black Friday. Sign up to join us.

The Walton family has as much money as nearly half the country—which means they can afford to pay all of their employees $15 an hour and provide full-time work; enough to live with dignity and raise a family. But they won't—not unless we speak up.

Friday is biggest shopping day in America. It's also the biggest chance we have to make Walmart hear us. Sign up to join a Black Friday protest now.

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