In remembrance of SEIU trailblazer, Gloria Marigny

07/27/2015

A pioneer in so many ways

By: Mary Kay Henry, SEIU President

By: Mary Kay Henry, SEIU President

Gloria Marigny was one of my first mentors in the Union. I met her in February 1981 when the International union assigned me to work at Local 399 in LA. Secretary-Treasurer, Gloria Marigny was already an International Board member when I met her. She was a force to be reckoned with.

She taught me how to do a walk through at Kaiser Sunset - cover 1500 members in 5 buildings - moving fast but making clear that each member was the most important person to you at the moment of visit. She schooled me into how to get nursing home workers to trust you at bus stops during shift change - building lists to organize. I loved watching her challenge Employers to do right by workers and their union. She had a well-developed use of humor to cut tension and bring things to agreement. She also was tough as nails - but rarely had to demonstrate that because she earned a reputation for being an unrelenting advocate for janitors, nursing home and Kaiser members.

I wish I had met her with more years under my belt. She was a pioneer in so many ways - the first African American woman officer of her Local Union and one our International Executive Board. I would have asked so many more questions than I did 34 years ago.

We are so blessed as a union family that this great woman served our Union. Please join me in extending our blessings to her daughter, USWW executive board leader Deborah Russell.

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