Issued June 06, 2019
Minneapolis—Members of SEIU’s International Executive Board passed a resolution in support of the Green New Deal at the union’s board meeting in Minneapolis today. SEIU is the first national union to declare its support for the groundbreaking measure that aims to address climate change while creating high-quality union jobs.
“We’ve been inspired by the fearlessness and courage of the climate change activists whose direct action and bold demands for change have put this issue front and center in the national conversation,” said Mary Kay Henry, the International President of SEIU. “The Green New Deal makes unions central to accomplishing the ambitious goal of an environmentally responsible and economically just society.”
The resolution supports the Green New Deal’s goal of connecting policies to combat climate change with those that raise standards for all working people. This is crucially important for communities of color, who are most impacted, so that no working people, families, or communities are left behind. SEIU members support immediate, bold action on climate change that holds corporations accountable for rampant pollution and creates good union jobs in a just transition.
“I lost my house and all my belongings in the Camp Fire, the worst wildfire in California's history. Losing everything I’ve ever known in a matter of one day due to climate change has motivated me to support the Green New Deal. My union, SEIU-UHW, stood by me and my coworkers in the aftermath of the fire, and I’m proud of the work they are doing to address climate change. It is extremely important that we take steps toward ending climate change before it’s too late," said Charissa Fitzgerald, a certified nursing assistant at Enloe Medical Center and SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West member.
“My home country Haiti is considered one of the world’s most impacted and at-risk countries from the effects of climate change," said Nelta Brutus, a security officer at a gas refinery and 32BJ SEIU member. "Over the last 20 years Haiti has endured 72 major weather events, including hurricane Matthew in 2016 that struck while the country was still rebuilding from the 2010 earthquake and resulting cholera outbreak.”
"Hurricane Harvey hit us hard. Gladly, no one in my family got hurt but my roof collapsed while I was hosting my daughter and her family after they were evacuated. My union helped me to fix it after the storm," said Francisca Reyes, a janitor and SEIU Texas member. "We need to pass the New Green Deal because we need laws to prevent more natural catastrophes that always hit harder on working families like mine."