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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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AIRPORT WORKERS MAKE PROGRESS at ERMC

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.

IMG_2624“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.”

—Nibhan Gudle

Want to start a Connect + Respect meeting at your airport worksite? Call Marilyn Coronell at 206-448- 7348 ext 324.

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AIRPORT WORKERS SPEAK OUT FOR COVID SAFETY

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.

 

IMG_2424 2“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.”

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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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New SEIU6 Executive Board Takes Oath of Office

EBoard Election Oct 10 20207 Small

President Javalera, shown above with her leadership team, including officers, executive board, and trustees, were elected by acclamation on October 10, 2020.

Zenia Javalera and her slate of leaders were sworn in at the General Membership meeting held on January 9, 2021. The newly elected team is as follows:

 President                                        –          Zenia Javalera

 

Secretary-Treasurer                  –         Jorge Dueñas

 

Vice President                             –            Elsa Ogbe

 

Vice President                            –             Lalesa Gurmessa

 

Retired Member-at-Large        –         Bruce Berkbigler

 

Non-Retired Member-at- Large  –   Carlos Villa Trujillo

 

SEIU6 Executive Board:

Ambar Arellano

Mulat Ayalew

Jamila “Mimi” Culcleasure 

Demetrus Dugar

Amir Kalabic

Robert Lund 

Isela Morales 

Makda Redae 

Eleine Senebeto

Trustees: 

Tulu Dinagde

Maria Gamiz 

Chung Wong

 

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Zenia Javalera Elected to Second Term as President of SEIU6

EBoard Election Oct 10 20207 Small

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Javalera and her leadership team were elected by acclamation with no opposition at the SEIU6 Nominations Meeting on October 10, 2020.

Janitors, airport workers, security officers, and allied industry workers represented by SEIU6 Property Services NW elected Zenia Javalera and her slate of officers, executive board members, and trustees to lead the union in the upcoming 2021-2023 term. With no opposition, President Javalera’s slate was elected by acclamation, having delivered a support petition signed by nearly 1,000 members to the SEIU6 Election Committee.

“I am proud to stand with this leadership team, who each carry with them the first-hand experience of airport workers, janitors, security officers, and essential workers on the frontlines of this pandemic. We share a commitment to building power in our local, and a vision for engaging in the urgent fight for racial, social, and economic justice.”—President Zenia Javalera

President Javalera was a longtime organizer with SEIU6 before rising to leadership. In 2019, she was elected president by the executive board following the retirement of former SEIU6 President Sergio Salinas. Since becoming president, Javalera has led SEIU6 through the COVID-19 pandemic, fighting for safety protections for the local’s frontline workers, winning a pay increase for janitors, and overseeing the addition of 1300 new security officers on Amazon’s campus as members of SEIU6.

The newly elected slate of SEIU6 leadership is as follows:

President:                              Zenia Javalera

Secretary-Treasurer:           Jorge Dueñas

Vice President:                     Elsa Ogbe

Vice President:                     Lalesa Gurmessa

 

Retired Member-at-Large:              Bruce Berkbigler

Non-Retired Member-at-Large:     Carlos Villa Trujillo

 

Executive Board:

Ambar Arellano

Amir Kalabic

Demetrus Dugar

Eleine Senebeto

Isela Morales

Jamila “Mimi” Culcleasure

Makda Redae

Mulat Ayalew

Robert Lund

 

Trustees:   

Chung Wong

Maria Gamiz

Tulu Dinagde

 

In accordance with the SEIU6 Constitution and Bylaws, the new slate will be sworn in to begin their term in January, 2021.

 

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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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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.

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SEIU6 President Zenia Javalera’s Statement on COVID-19

Press Release - Corona Virus - 3-3-20 _FINAL. doc

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J4J 20 QUESTIONS SURVEY

J4J 20 Questions Paper Banner

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:

J4J 20 Questions in English

Anketa Napisana na Bosanskom Jeziku

Encuesta Escrita en Español

Sahamin Ku Qoran Af Soomaali

በአማርኛ የተፃፈው የዳሰሳ ጥናት

Khảo Sát Bằng Tiếng Việt

调查用中文写

 

 

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