The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ali Jost, SEIU (202) 730-7159

SEIU Joins with Other Labor and Civil Rights Groups to Announce Boycott of Arizona, Boycott of Intolerance

SEIU to move conventions, meetings out of Arizona and urge labor partners, lawmakers, and other major U.S. institutions to follow suit


Today, SEIU Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina joined labor and civil rights leaders to announce that the 2.2 million-member union will boycott conventions and meetings in Arizona in an effort to denounce the extremist, anti-immigrant law "SB1070."

"By issuing an extensive boycott of meetings and conventions in Arizona, we are sending a clear message that working families want serious solutions to our immigration problems-not frivolous policies that undermine public safety, waste millions of taxpayer funds, and imperil our most basic civil rights," said SEIU Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina. "On behalf of working families and the more than 8 million residents of Arizona, we will not back down until the Arizona state legislature, the courts or the Federal Government invalidates this dangerous and discriminatory law.

"The actions of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer have already polarized the state of Arizona and given license to an intolerant, anti-immigrant underbelly that has no place in this country. People of good faith cannot remain silent as this bill threatens to institutionalize the kind of racial profiling our country left behind years ago; instead, we are using our greatest strength to condemn this law and stop its dangers before it they take hold in Arizona or in other states across the country."

In addition to moving immediately to cancel all annual conventions and other large-scale meetings in the state, SEIU will continue to reach out to labor partners, representatives of federal, state and local governments, student groups, religious groups and other major U.S. institutions to urge them to pull their business out of Arizona until SB 1070 is invalidated.

"Immigration is a national problem that needs a national solution," continued Medina. "It's time for Republican leadership in Arizona and in Congress to prove to working families that they are truly committed to fixing our broken immigration system and are willing to put politics aside to lead on this critical issue. Until Republicans stop blocking real reform and instead work with Democrats in Congress to pass comprehensive reform legislation, we will see more senseless legislation like SB 1070 in states across the country."

"As we stand against intolerance in Arizona, SEIU is simultaneously stepping on the gas to make sure that Congress and the White House respond to the vast majority of Americans who want a serious, comprehensive immigration solution now."

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.