Whether it’s energizing her co-workers for the 2019 Virginia elections or for an action at their northern Virginia workplace, Tammie Wondong knows firsthand that when working people come together, they win.
As a 30-year employee of the Fairfax County Adult and Aging Services division, as well as the current rank-and-file president of SEIU Virginia 512's Fairfax County Chapter, Tammie says, “By joining together in our union and fighting, we’ve won $15 minimum wage in our county. We saved and expanded retirement benefits. We’ve ensured workers are treated with dignity. All of which means that people’s lives are better. My co-workers’ lives are better. My family’s life is better.”
By fighting, Tammie means 1) learning about the issues at stake (“Our union has brought an awareness to the needs of working people here in Virginia,” she says); 2) empowering each other to speak out; and 3) persevering.
“When we educate and mobilize our communities, we win. An educated community, an active community, is a community that’s going to thrive!” she exclaims.
In addition to empowering her coworkers, and her neighbors, to lift up their voices and advocate for themselves, Tammie works hard to educate and elect candidates who’ll fight on their behalf. Then she works just as hard to hold those elected leaders accountable once they’re in office.
It’s all interdependent. “When the community catches on fire, and gets active, then elected officials stand up and fight,” she says.
We need to stick together in our unions and communities, and we need to make sure everyone has the opportunity to join a union—no matter where they work—so they too have a REAL voice. Join us in this #UnionsForAll fight.