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SEIU6 Statement on the Conviction of Derek Chauvin for the Murder of George Floyd

SEIU6 Statement on the Conviction of Derek Chauvin for the Murder of George Floyd

 SEIU6 stands in solidarity with the family of George Floyd, the community of Minneapolis, and the millions of people worldwide who took action to protest Mr. Floyd’s murder, as we share a moment of relief in Derek Chauvin being held accountable for taking Mr. Floyd’s life.

We recognize that this is less than justice. Justice for George Floyd would mean he was never murdered in the first place. We recognize that Chauvin’s guilty verdict is too rare—he is one of just 8 police officers who has faced a murder conviction since 2005, while police kill nearly 1,000 people every year. We recognize that this guilty verdict would have been even less likely were it not for the bravery of Darnella Frazier, who, at 17 years old, filmed Floyd’s murder on her phone, and the mass mobilization of millions of us who took to the streets last summer to cry out for an end to police violence.

We also recognize that this moment of relief is too short, as we reel from the daily pain of police murdering Black and brown people, like 13-year-old Adam Toledo, and 15-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant, children who deserved to live out their childhoods, and grow up to be adults.

We’re still bracing ourselves against the escalation of violence on our Asian community members. And we’re still angry at the inequity of a system that sends Black, brown, and immigrant workers out to work in a pandemic in jobs that pay the least, expose them to the most risk, and that are essential to our society’s functioning.

We must believe that it won’t always be this way. We must continue to reimagine our futures, and the ways we can take care of each other. We must imagine an end to white supremacy, a more just world than the one racial capitalism dictates, and a society where all of us—all races, all genders, all abilities, all nationalities, can be safe, can be free, can thrive.

April 22, 2021

 

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SEIU6 CALLS ON STATE TO EXTEND VACCINE ELIGIBILITY TO ALL ESSENTIAL WORKERS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: esroka@seiu6.org

 SEIU6 CALLS ON STATE TO EXTEND VACCINE ELIGIBILITY TO ALL  ESSENTIAL WORKERS

As Washington State expands vaccine eligibility next week, essential janitors and security officers will once again be left off the list. While SEIU6 has partnered with the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) to appeal to Governor Inslee and the State Department of Health to expedite access for these workers, janitors and security officers are being told to wait.

Representing a largely immigrant, majority BIPOC workforce, SEIU6 understands vaccine access as a racial justice and immigrant rights issue. The same workforce that’s been called upon to report to work every day to clean and protect commercial buildings during a pandemic has been denied early protection against the virus.

“It’s hard to be told to wait your turn when we’ve been on the frontlines of this pandemic since day one. Every day, we leave our families to clean and sanitize essential businesses. Many of us take the bus to work, and a lot of us face crowded break rooms and lax safety standards. At the end of the day, you’re just praying you don’t catch it and bring it back to your family. We’ve been feeling this stress for more than a year. We need this vaccine yesterday.” —Ambar Arellano, Janitor and SEIU6 Executive Board Member

Security officers, many of whom have taken on additional duties including mask enforcement and COVID screenings, continue to wait for vaccine access.

“I can’t stress how important it is for security officers to get vaccinated. Just to breathe that sigh of relief after one year of putting our families in jeopardy, going out every day to do this job. The second I’m eligible, I’m going to be in that line.” —Demetrus Dugar, Security Officer and SEIU6 Executive Board Member

SEIU6 airport workers are included in the current phase of vaccine eligibility. After a year of disproportionately high COVID-19 rates in Black and brown communities, many Sea-Tac passenger service workers are taking steps to get vaccinated.

“It’s been a stressful year at Sea-Tac with too many workers crowded together, too many coworkers getting sick with COVID. We’re grateful we have the vaccine now and we want all essential workers to have the same.” —Edwin Gomez, Sea-Tac Airport Worker

“We appreciate all that Governor Inslee and the Department of Health have done to keep Washington safe during this pandemic. We know that their handling of this crisis has saved the lives of countless Washingtonians, and that their vaccination plan aims to do the same. But we’re calling on them to expand access to essential workers of all ages immediately, because these are the communities who have been hit the hardest, not just by COVID infection and mortality rates, but by the stress of providing for your family as an underpaid essential worker during this pandemic. These are the folks who have kept the lights on for the rest of Washington.” —SEIU6 President Zenia Javalera

 

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NEW SEXUAL HARASSMENT PREVENTION LAW TAKES EFFECT IN WASHINGTON STATE

 IMG_2625SEIU6 janitors and security officers made history in 2019 when we pushed for greater protections against workplace sexual harassment and assault. Our brave members spoke out in the media and before the Washington State legislature to help pass ESSB 5258, a law that aims to keep workers safe, especially those who work in isolated settings.

The new law requires employers do the following:

—Adopt a sexual harassment policy.
—Require training for all employees, including managers, supervisors, and foremen.
—Provide a list of resources to employees on federal, state, and local enforcement and advocacy groups to reach out to if sexual harassment occurs.
—Provide a panic button to all janitors, hotel housekeepers, and other isolated workers. (Security officers are exempt from this requirement since they already carry similar equipment.)

The new panic button is intended for janitors to use to call for help in case of emergency. If you have questions about how your employer is using it, please contact our union by calling your organizer, sending us a message on Facebook, or calling our main line at (206) 448-7348.

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SEIU6 August 2020 Primary Election Endorsements

The SEIU6 Executive Board is proud to announce our endorsements for the following candidates. 

Position Candidate
Governor Jay Inslee
Secretary of State Gael Tarleton
Treasurer Mike Pelliciotti
10th Congressional Dist Kristine Reeves
LD 5 House Bill Ramos
LD 10 House Suzanne Woodard
LD 19 Senate Dean Takko
LD 21 House Strom Peterson
LD 21 House Lillian Ortiz-Self
LD 23 House Tarra Simmons
LD 25 Senate Julie Door
LD 26 House Carrie Hesch
LD 28 House Dan Bronoske
LD 30 House Jamila Taylor
LD 30 House Jesse Johnson
LD 31 House Cindy Ryu
LD 35 House Darcy Huffman
LD 36 House Liz Berry
LD 37 House Chukundi Salisbury
LD 37 House Kirsten Harris-Talley
LD 38 House Emily Wicks
LD 41 House My-Linh Thai
LD 43 House Nicole Macri
LD 43 House Frank Chopp
LD 47 House Pat Sullivan
LD 48 House Vandana Slatter
LD 49 House Sharon Wylie
LD 49 House Monica Jurado Stonier

 

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Security Officers on Amazon’s Campus on a Path to Good Union Jobs

Amazon hires union contractors to replace Security Industry Specialists (SIS)

After 7 years of workers calling out issues like racism, harassment, and lack of religious accommodation at SIS, the security officers on Amazon’s campus are ready to welcome to a responsible union contractor.

SO HG“I’m an SIS security officer & I’ve seen the issues everyone talks about with SIS. I applaud Amazon for choosing responsible contractors who will give officers a voice on the job. I’ve worked both union & non-union security, & it makes a huge difference when you have job protection from being in a union. I think this means Amazon listened to the security officers who work here every day, & that’s a huge win.” -SIS Officer Heather Giaudrone

With new responsible contractors awarded the bid to provide security services for Amazon buildings, officers are looking toward working with their union to address problems in their workplace, with a process to safely and effectively raise future issues with management.

“Members of SEIU6 came together to support these officers in their struggle for fair treatment. Sisters and brothers from security, janitorial, and the airport united in solidarity with these officers to raise their voices and be heard. I’m proud of the hard work that our members put in over the years. In our union, we know that when we stand united, we can win the respect, fair treatment, and safe working conditions that every worker deserves.” -SEIU6 President Zenia Javalera

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UPDATE: Washington State Legislature Passes Sexual Harassment Prevention Bill for Isolated Workers

ESSB 5258 House Win

OLYMPIA—The bill to protect isolated janitors, security officers, and hotel housekeepers from sexual harassment and assault has passed in Olympia. The House and Senate concurred on the final version of Senate Bill 5258, and the bill now awaits the Governor’s signature.

The sexual harassment prevention act will provide isolated workers with sexual harassment prevention training, a list of resources for seeking help, and a panic button to keep them safe on the job.

“This bill will offer workers more protection. We need education in these industries so that everyone knows where to draw the line on inappropriate behavior. This will empower workers who have experienced harassment to speak up, and will help us stop people who are abusing their power.” —Ambar Arellano, SEIU6 Janitor

Washington State will now join California and Oregon in passing some of the most forward-thinking anti-sexual harassment measures for janitors in the country. The bill aims to curb the high incidence of sexual violence in workplaces where women work alone, after hours, and without direct supervision.

A recent review of the bill by the State Board of Health in collaboration with the Governor’s Interagency Council on Health Disparities found strong evidence that decreasing workplace sexual harassment and assault will improve health outcomes and impact health inequities for these workers. You can read the report here: https://sboh.wa.gov/Portals/7/Doc/HealthImpactReviews/HIR-2019-15-SB5258.pdf?ver=2019-03-11-163534-137

“We know that a lot of workers in these industries are in survival mode. When you don’t know your rights and you depend on your job to put food on the table, you might be in a mindset to endure anything. This bill will send a signal to everyone in these industries that workers don’t have to just endure—they have the right to be safe and respected on the job, too.” —Zenia Javalera, Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU6 Property Services NW

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Washington’s New Paid Sick Leave Law

Good news for Washington workers: paid sick leave is now protected by law. As of January 1st, 2018, workers in Washington State earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked. Workers can use this paid time off to take care of themselves or family members with physical or mental illness.

The law also allows paid time for doctor visits and preventive care for you and your family. If grandma needs help at the doctor’s office, you can take paid leave and be there with her. The same is true for siblings, stepparents, adopted children and other extended family. Under the new law, employees will not be required to find their own replacements for sick days.

Workers can begin using their paid sick leave after 90 days of employment. Unused leave can be rolled over, up to 40 hours each year. The law ensures that employers pay sick leave at your regular wage, and bosses who retaliate against employees for using sick leave will be held accountable. Paid time-off can also be used when your workplace or child’s school is closed for public health reasons or to address domestic violence issues.

This law sets a minimum standard, but workers can always come together and bargain to earn more!

Have questions? Check out WA Labor & Industries’ guide to paid sick leave.

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SEIU6 General Election Endorsements

Endorsement Photo

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