News round-up: Raise the Wage Wilkes-Barre

May 08, 2014 - From May 8, 2014 The Times Tribune: Unions, lawmakers rally for higher minimum wage Loudly chanting, "We can't survive on $7.25," a group of about 30 people rallied on Public Square on Thursday to raise the minimum wage to at... Read more...

What the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire anniversary means

Mar 26, 2014 - 103 years ago, 146 women, men and children were killed in a factory fire that could have been prevented. Fire exits were blocked, the fire escape buckled. The triangle fire occurred over a hundred years ago, but it lives on in our minds and hearts. Read more...

Saying no to hot coffee in the face

Oct 10, 2013 - Laundry workers joined together to send a message to the Waldorf Astoria, NY about the principal of their contractor, Carnegie Valet, who threw coffee and terminated a worker for organizing with Workers United. Read more...

His boss threw coffee in his face

Oct 07, 2013 - I worked at Carnegie Linens. We tried to organize with Workers United to make our low-paid, dangerous jobs better. The company's owner, Gary Perlson responded by throwing coffee in my former co-worker Jose Luis Diaz's face. Read more...

After intense pressure from SEIU members, Pennsylvania Governor softens stance on accepting federal health care funds for low-income residents.

Sep 17, 2013 - Governor demanding controversial reforms in exchange for acceptance of new Medicaid funding. SEIU members across Pennsylvania have spent the better part of a year urging Republican Governor Tom Corbett to accept federal money to help give low-income residents access to... Read more...

3,000 workers at 14 industrial laundry sites get
wage gains, keep free health insurance

Dec 07, 2012 - Industrial laundry workers, who wash linen for New York's hotels, hospitals and restaurants, voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new master contract between fourteen laundries in the New York Metro area and the Laundry, Distribution and Food Service Joint Board, Workers United/SEIU. Read more...

100 Years Later: Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Mar 14, 2011 - One hundred years ago on March 25, a huge fire swept through the cramped Triangle Waist Company garment factory on the 8th, 9th and 10th floors of the Asch Building in lower Manhattan. Workers in the factory had little time or opportunity to escape and the fire tragically killed 146 workers, including many young immigrant women and children--some as young as age 11. Read more...

Hartmarx: One Year Later

Aug 10, 2010 - This week marks the one-year anniversary for HMX Group, the firm that acquired famed clothier Hartmarx after it declared bankruptcy last spring. After marshaling support from powerful allies in politics and labor and fighting off liquidation, Workers United members at... Read more...

SAVED
U.S. Hugo Boss Factory Staying Open; 350+ Workers Keep Their Jobs

Apr 23, 2010 - 350+ suit makers' jobs have been saved, as workers at the Hugo Boss plant ratified a new three-year contract today that keeps the Cleveland factory open. The new three-year agreement contains a $10 per hour plant average, $10.20 in the second year and $10.40 in the third year. Read more...

Statement from Workers United Announcing Ratification of Hugo Boss Worker Contract

Apr 23, 2010 - The Hugo Boss workers at the company's factory in Brooklyn, Ohio just overwhelmingly ratified a new three-year contract. The tremendous efforts of the workers--members of Workers United, SEIU--as well as the efforts of many elected and community allies, have led to this tremendous moment. Read more...

First day back at the bargaining table for Workers United and Hugo Boss

Apr 08, 2010 - Following a concession by Hugo Boss to back off from their staunch position to close their only U.S. clothing factory, the retailer agreed to resume negotiations with Workers United on behalf of the 350+ Cleveland suit makers whose jobs are at risk. Following their first bargaining session with Hugo Boss since December 2009 today, Workers United issued this statement... Read more...

Hugo Boss Forced Back to Bargaining Table

Apr 01, 2010 - In a victory for Workers United members, retailer Hugo Boss has backed off from its staunch position to close its only U.S. clothing factory--and agreed to the return to the bargaining table with the 350+ Cleveland workers. Read more...

WATCH LIVE: Who shuns Hugo Boss on the Red Carpet?

Mar 07, 2010 - What's the quickest way for a star to make Oscar's Worst Dressed List tonight? By wearing Hugo Boss. We need you to ask that each Hollywood star in attendance publicly refuse to wear Hugo Boss clothing, so long as the company continues to put its own greed over the interests of American workers. Watch the Red Carpet here live. Read more...

Memo to Hollywood: Hugo Boss Not Fashionable For This Year's Oscars

Mar 05, 2010 - Some of Hollywood's biggest stars and directors received a letter from Danny Glover this week, asking them to boycott Hugo Boss on the red carpet this Sunday. Hugo Boss says the company needs to shut down its only U.S. suit factory in Cleveland and send those jobs overseas--forcing nearly 400 workers onto the unemployment line. Tell Hollywood we need them to use their celebrity for good by saying no to Hugo Boss on March 7th. Read more...

Tell Hollywood: No Hugo Boss on the Red Carpet

Mar 02, 2010 - You would think that if you're selling high-end fashion like Hugo Boss does, you could afford to pay decent wages to the people who make them. And you'd be right. That's why actor Danny Glover is asking stars not to wear Hugo Boss on the red carpet at Sunday's Academy Awards. Read more...

VIDEO: Sen. Sherrod Brown stands up for Hugo Boss workers on Senate floor

Feb 19, 2010 - The 350+ Hugo Boss factory workers from Cleveland are not taking the corporation's attempts to close their factory permanently and move their jobs overseas lying down. And now they've got Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown on the front lines with them, fighting to keep the Hugo Boss factory open and keep alive a tradition of suit manufacturing in Cleveland that goes back to the 1840's. Read more...

Hugo Boss says "Happy New Year!" by laying off 300 Cleveland workers

Dec 30, 2009 - Yesterday, Hugo Boss announced it would be closing its Cleveland factory and putting more than 300 American workers out of work. Of the layoffs, Hugo Boss said, "The production plant in Cleveland makes only two styles of standard men's suits and does not produce any fashion pieces." I don't know about you, but last time I checked, it was the DESIGNER'S job to DESIGN the clothing their line creates, not the worker who's on the manufacturing line mass producing it. Read more...

Huge Living Wage Victory for Cintas Laundry Workers in Los Angeles

Dec 17, 2009 - Workers United/SEIU announced today that industrial launderer Cintas has agreed to pay $6.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging that it violated the City of Los Angeles Living Wage Ordinance. The settlement provides $3.3 million in back wages and interest for more than 500 Southern California Cintas laundry workers at the company's Ontario, Pico Rivera, and Whittier locations. Read more...

Victory for Workers United/SEIU Laundry Workers: Cintas Settles Class Action Suit Alleging Violations of LA Living Wage Law for Record-breaking $6.5M

Dec 17, 2009 - Workers United/SEIU announced today that industrial launderer Cintas has agreed to pay $6.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging that it violated the City of Los Angeles Living Wage Ordinance. Read more...

Levi's jeans better for workers; fall into The GAP

Nov 18, 2009 - Distribution workers at Levi Strauss & Co. facilities in the U.S. and Canada voted overwhelmingly in favor of a three-year, North America-wide contract providing wage increases, defined benefit pensions and health insurance. Other union-made jeans include The GAP's 1969 "Real Straight" jeans sporting the "Made in Canada" label--they're made by Workers United/SEIU members. Read more...

Shopping you can feel good about: Buying the union label

Nov 02, 2009 - while shopping can feel more like a forbidden past time or guilty pleasure in this economy, buying the Union label is something you can feel good about. Because you're not just getting a high-quality product--you're also supporting local economies, helping maintain middle class manufacturing jobs, and propping up responsible companies that employ workers at fair wages. Read more...

Must See TV: Workers United in HBO Documentary Schmatta

Oct 19, 2009 - Did you know that in 1965, 95 percent of American clothing was made in USA? Times have changed since then. Just a few decades later, only 5 percent of the clothing worn by Americans is manufactured here in this country. Don't miss tonight's HBO premier of Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags -- a documentary that tells the unexpected history behind New York's Garment District and a "must see" for anyone who cares about our union and the workers who built it. Read more...

Crystal Lee Sutton, the real "Norma Rae," was a fighter to the end

Sep 14, 2009 - Our nation has lost a great hero and champion of working people. Crystal Lee Sutton was a courageous woman who stood up for herself and her coworkers under the most difficult circumstances. She was an inspiration to organizers in this union and beyond, particularly Southern women who went on to lead their own campaigns after learning from her example. It's well-known that Crystal's story was the inspiration for the academy award-winning 1979 film Norma Rae, but I wish more people knew the real story of Crystal Lee Sutton and her co-workers, and the strength and honor they showed as they fought to organize the textile giant JP Stevens. Read more...

Share your Labor Day photos and video

Sep 08, 2009 - One hundred and twenty-seven years after the first Labor Day parade, we still take a day to honor America's workers. Did you attend a Labor Day celebration, march or rally with SEIU members or any of our coalition partners? We want to know! Use this form to upload your photos, audio and video capturing your Labor Day experience. Read more...

Bruce Raynor Debates Healthcare Public Option on CNN

Aug 28, 2009 - Last night, Workers United President Bruce Raynor appeared on CNN to debate the healthcare public option. "If we don't have a government option in the program, then we are not going to have an affordable program that will cover every man, woman, and child in this country," said Raynor. Read more...

Video: Danny Glover supports workers as Bemis strike continues

Aug 25, 2009 - Workers United members of Local 1426 in Terre Haute, Indiana recently rejected a contract offer by their employer and voted to continue to strike. Earlier this month, actor and activist Danny Glover traveled to Terre Haute to show his support for the workers who make the flexible food packaging you see on your grocery store's shelves. Read more...

Workers United wins settlement for failure to pay overtime

Aug 24, 2009 - San Jose, Calif.-based Cintas settled a lawsuit over wage-and-labor hour laws in order to avoid paying workers for overtime. Read more...

Striking Bemis Workers Want Respect

Aug 18, 2009 - What if your employer told you that in order to keep your health coverage you and your spouse must submit to invasive health screenings from your insurer? If you refused you'd lose the health coverage you've always counted on. That's the situation we're dealing with--will you take a stand with us? Tell our employer, Bemis, that workers aren't lab rats. Read more...

Around the union: Quick hits

Aug 10, 2009 - In union news this week...disability service workers at NY's Ulster-Greene ARC vote to join a union, SEIU hosts a conference call with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and 32BJ launches the first-ever Green Buildings Initiative to train building superintendents in energy efficiency, plus much more. Read more...

Workers United Calls on Laborers to Withdraw Petition on Washington DC Hotel

Aug 10, 2009 - The NLRB has scheduled a representation hearing today at the request of the Baltimore Washington Laborers District Council of the Laborers International Union of North America, which filed a petition with the NLRB on Embassy Suites Hotel. Read more...

Hundreds of workers striking Bemis Plant for being treated like lab rats

Aug 03, 2009 - More than 700 Local 1426 workers of Workers United in Indiana continue to be on strike against Bemis for its proposal to subject workers to invasive medical testing to keep their health insurance coverage. Read more...

Bank of America to Close 10% of its Branches?

Jul 31, 2009 - If reports that BofA intends to close 10% of the bank's branches are true, that means the jobs of up to 5,000 bank employees at hundreds of BofA branches are at risk. If you are a BofA employee, we need you to add your initials to our letter to Ken Lewis. Read more...

Bruce Raynor on FOX Business: "American workers and American business cannot afford the current [healthcare] system"

Jul 15, 2009 - This year it's going to cost $18,000 per family for medical coverage--and that's just not affordable, says Workers United President Bruce Raynor on Fox Business News, making a case for why reform needs to happen now--and why he thinks an employer mandate should be part of the solution. Read more...

Hartmarx Workers Win with Court-Approved Sale

Jun 30, 2009 - Nearly 4,000 jobs were saved with court approval of the sale of Chicago-based Hartmarx Corporation to the British firm Emerisque Brands late last week. Emerisque announced plans before the deal to keep many of Hartmarx's Workers United-represented workers. Read more...

350 New Bedford Factory Workers Fight to Save Their Jobs

Jun 24, 2009 - Remember the infamous Bianco Factory raid in New Bedford, MA where hundreds of hard-working immigrants were rounded up, detained and separated from their families? Today, a horrible experience of déjà vu as workers at the same factory who make backpacks for the U.S. army face yet another tragedy, as new owner Alliant threatens to shut the factory down. Read more...

Wells Fargo Officially Opposes Bid to Save Hartmarx from Liquidation

May 29, 2009 - The fight to keep creditor Wells Fargo from liquidating Hartmarx menswear factory appears to ramping up, as the bailed-out bank said today that it is opposing the $119 million bid by the British private equity firm Emerisque to save the bankrupt Chicago-based men's clothier...for the "good" of its workers. Read more...

Video: The Fight to Save Hartmarx Workers' Jobs

May 13, 2009 - On May 11, Workers United members at the Illinois Hartmarx facility voted unanimously to occupy their workplace if chief lender Wells Fargo moves to shut the factory down. Watch the short documentary released today on the events at the Hart Schaffner & Marx factory in Des Plaines, IL over the last week. Read more...

Tell Wells Fargo: Save Jobs at Hartmarx

May 12, 2009 - The public gave Wells Fargo $25 billion in bailout funds, but rather than investing that money in American jobs by keeping credit flowing, Wells Fargo is considering cutting the cord. oment to sign a letter to Wells Fargo Executive Vice President John Stumpf asking him to choose a bidder who will save these jobs. Read more...

Hartmarx Workers Hold Rally with State Politicians & Labor Leaders After Sit-in Vote

May 11, 2009 - Hartmarx workers were joined by Rep. Phil Hare, Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and SEIU Illinois State Council president Tom Balanoff at a rally today at the Des Plaines, IL plant, following a unanimous vote by workers to stage a sit-in if Wells Fargo does not approve the sale of Hartmarx to a buyer that would keep it alive instead of liquidating it. Read more...

Hartmarx Workers Vote to "Sit In" to Save Their Jobs as TARP Recipient Wells Fargo Threatens to Close Factory

May 11, 2009 - Mirroring the six-day protest that helped save more than 250 Republic Windows and Doors workers from losing their jobs last December, Chicago-based Hartmarx factory workers voted unanimously this morning in favor of a "sit in" style action if chief lender Wells Fargo Bank or a new owner tries to begin liquidation or close the factory. Read more...

Illinois Workers United Suit Makers' Jobs On the Cutting Table

May 05, 2009 - Workers United members at the Hart Schaffner & Marx (known as Hartmarx) menswear factory in Des Plaines, IL, make suits for President Obama, but their jobs may not make the cut. Read more...