RESPECT + CONNECT MEETINGS HELP BUILD A HEALTHY WORKPLACE
After tensions over COVID safety and other issues at ERMC, cabin cleaners and management came together to hold the first of a series of informal meetings they hope will build trust and a healthier working environment. Called “Respect +Connect Meetings,” these talks between coworkers and managment aim to solve problems before they turn into crises.
“We started this meeting to build the relationship between workers and management so we can understand each other. We’re asking to be respected—no matter who you are or where you come from. We are a multicultural workforce and many of us speak English as a second language. The key is communication and respect.”
Want to start a Connect + Respect meeting at your airport worksite? Call Marilyn Coronell at 206-448- 7348 ext 324.
COVID safety measures were so inadequate for some Sea-Tac cabin cleaners that they had to do something. Workers faced crowded vans, crowded breakrooms, and company secrecy surrounding positive COVID cases.
After uniting around these issues and holding labor management meetings, cabin cleaners have been able to push the companies to adopt stronger worker protections. Workers speaking out played a major role, breaking the story in our newsletter, on social media, in the news and even before Congress. Selam Andarge deserves respect for testifying about her working conditions to the United States House Ways and Means Committe. Likewise, Sadia Bultum (pictured above), spoke out to CNN Travel.
“We need rules,” Bultum told CNN. “Like, avoid close contact employee-to- employee. Respect the rule of 6ft distance. Let the employees know if we’re exposed so we can quarantine. Keep the breakroom clean and our areas clean and disinfected.”
June 19, 2020
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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.
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.
If you are an SEIU6 Janitor, we encourage you to take the J4J 20 Questions survey. This will help us know which are the top three issues that need to be addressed in our next janitorial contract.
Survey is available in the following languages: