Zenia Javalera Statement on Removal of SPOG from MLK Labor

June 19, 2020
Media contact: esroka@seiu6.org

SEIU6 President Zenia Javalera Statement on Vote to Remove SPOG from MLK Labor

On Wednesday night, SEIU6 delegates to the Martin Luther King County Labor Council voted in favor of disaffiliating the Seattle Police Officers Guild from the Council. As a member of MLK Labor’s Executive Board, I am heartened that this Council voted to remove SPOG from our organization as an affirmation of our commitment to fight for racial justice for the working people of King County.

I want to acknowledge that this was a challenging moment for our labor community. We are all guided by the principles of labor solidarity and do not take the decision to disaffiliate with a local union lightly. But the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and others have our nation crying out for justice.

Union members across all our locals are crying out for justice. We are fortunate that in King County, we have many Black labor leaders, union members, and community leaders who know how to transform this moment into meaningful change. It is up to the rest of us, particularly our white labor family, to listen.

I want SEIU6 members to know that I hear you loud and clear when you share personal stories of racial injustice, whether at the hands of the police or at the worksite. I hear you when you describe how your immigration status, your accent, or your ethnicity gets used against you, to intimidate you into accepting less than what you deserve.

I know you need change and you are looking to your union to bring change. All working people in Washington need change, and if we commit now to listening to our Black leaders, we can transform this painful moment into something better.

In Solidarity,

Zenia Javalera
President, SEIU6 Property Services NW

SEIU6 Property Services NW is part of the largest union in the country, Service Employees International Union, which represents over 2 million service workers in North America. SEIU6 represents more than 8,000 janitors, security officers, and allied industry workers in Washington State.