For Immediate Release
Ali Jost, 202-730-7159
Mark McCullough, 202-730-7283
Kawana Lloyd, 202-730-7087
SEIU to Congress: Act Now To Relieve Pressure on Working People
WASHINGTON - Thousands of members of the Service
Employees International Union (SEIU) this week will make calls, send emails,
and set up lobby visits to urge Congress to act as swiftly on real economic
recovery for working people in America as they did to bail out Wall
“We have an incredible opportunity to help
President-Elect Obama fulfill the promise to create good jobs for millions of
hardworking people in America,”
said SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger. “People are excited
about Obama’s inauguration, but they are worried about losing their own
jobs, their healthcare, their ability to retire, their homes, losing their way
of life for their kids. These fears are real and they are urgent, because
leading economists say that without significant aid to states our economy is
going to plunge deeper into recession.”
SEIU members are providing crucial public services –
health care, senior services, and public safety – to the growing number
of people most affected by the economic crisis. These services are in
jeopardy as the widening crisis provokes severe state budget shortfalls this
year and next, resulting in proposals to slash services people depend on.
“With these cuts, a lot of people won’t be able
to live at home anymore,” said Dinorah Villalta, an SEIU member and Los Angeles homecare
worker. “Imagine a frail, elderly woman who uses a walker and
sometimes struggles with bladder and bowel control. She won’t get any
help keeping her house clean and safe, and she’ll start having a lot of
trouble. That’s cruel.”
Thousands of SEIU members this week will contact members of
Congress to share stories and examples of how state and local economies are in
big trouble, and in need of immediate action through a bipartisan economic
recovery plan that will have a big impact.
“People are counting on us to roll up our sleeves and
rebuild Main Street communities in ways we’ve never imagined, in ways
that won’t just once again benefit the same small Wall Street barons who
got us into this mess,” said Burger.
Burger and SEIU President Andy Stern recently sent letters
to Congress and the Obama transition team describing the elements of an
economic recovery plan would work for working people, including:
- significant relief to state and local governments to
preserve and rebuild crucial services and good jobs;
- major spending on infrastructure projects that are
shovel-ready and others that with help create jobs and bolster local
communities in the long-term; and
- spending on innovations in the health care and energy
sectors to restore our economic competitiveness and put us on a sustainable
SEIU members are pressing for the economic recovery package
as the first part of a wider campaign, Change That Works, designed to bring
economic solutions to Main Street,
including efforts to fix the nation’s healthcare system and ensure
workers have a voice on the job.
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With 2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers—not just corporations and CEOs—benefit from today's global economy.