Issued January 20, 2021
Voters of color, essential workers showed up in November; now they are demanding to be respected, protected, paid
San Francisco, Calif.—Service Employees International Union (SEIU) International President Mary Kay Henry released the following statement today marking the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the 46th president and vice president of the United States:
“SEIU members and Fight for $15 and a Union worker leaders marched, supported each other and got out the vote to drive a turnaround for all working people. Today’s inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris is a major step forward, and one working people are celebrating from coast to coast as we continue to fight for a nation where everyone, regardless of the color of their skin, is respected, healthy and can live with dignity.
“Our turnaround is being led by women of color, who are bursting with pride today at seeing Vice-President Elect Harris become the first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president. Despite the horrific siege on the Capitol two weeks ago nothing can overshadow this moment and I join them in honoring a woman who continues to break boundaries and pave the way for so many women and girls.
“Today working people will take a moment to mark how far we’ve come, but tomorrow morning we will double down on the work that still needs to be done to ensure everyone can join a union, regardless of where they work or what job they do. Essential workers have a clear demand: respect us, protect us, pay us. Our new president has called on Congress to pass a $15 minimum wage, and to work with him to ensure caregiving jobs are good union jobs and to defeat the coronavirus. SEIU members and the millions more united in the Fight for $15 and a Union will not stop until this vision is a reality.”