Service Employees International Union
|Full name||Service Employees International Union|
|Founded||April 23, 1921 (as BSEU)|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Key people||Mary Kay Henry, International President|
|Office location||Washington, D.C., U.S.|
|Country||United States, Canada|
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is a labor union representing almost 1.9 million workers in over 100 occupations in the United States and Canada. SEIU is focused on organizing workers in three sectors: health care (over half of members work in the health care field), including hospital, home care and nursing home workers; public services (local and state government employees); and property services (including janitors, security officers and food service workers).
SEIU has over 150 local branches. It is affiliated with the Change to Win Federation and the Canadian Labour Congress. SEIU's international headquarters is located in Washington, D.C. and it is one of the largest unions in the country.
The union is known for its strong support for Democratic candidates. It spent $28 million supporting Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election. In 2012, SEIU was the top outside spender on Democratic campaigns, reporting almost $70 million of campaign donations, television ads and get-out-the-vote efforts in support of President Obama and other Democrats. SEIU is a major supporter of the Affordable Care Act and of increased minimum wage laws, including wage increases for fast food workers. The union is the primary backer of the Fight for $15.
The SEIU was founded on April 23, 1921 in Chicago as the Building Services Employees Union (BSEU); its first members were janitors, elevator operators, and window washers. The union's membership increased significantly with a 1934 strike in New York City's Garment District. In order to reflect its increasingly diversified membership, in 1968 the union renamed itself Service Employees International Union. In 1980 through 1984, most of the SEIU's growth came from mergers with four other unions, including the International Jewelry Workers Union and the Drug, Hospital, and Health Care Employees Union.
In 1995, SEIU President John Sweeney was elected president of the AFL–CIO, the main confederation of labor unions in the United States. After Sweeney's departure, former social worker Andrew Stern was elected president of SEIU. In the first ten years of Stern's administration, the union's membership grew rapidly and the SEIU became the largest union in the AFL-CIO.
In 2003, SEIU was a founding member of the New Unity Partnership, an organization of unions that pushed for a greater commitment to organizing unorganized workers into unions. In 2005, SEIU was a founding member of the Change to Win Coalition, which furthered the reformist agenda, criticizing the AFL-CIO for focusing its attention on electoral politics, instead of encouraging organizing in the face of decreasing union membership. These differences boiled over on the eve of the 2005 AFL-CIO convention, as the SEIU and Teamsters announced that they were disaffiliating from the AFL-CIO. The Change to Win Federation held its founding convention in September 2005, where SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger was announced as the organization's chair.
In the following decade, several Change to Win members disaffiliated and re-joined the AFL-CIO, leaving SEIU, the Teamsters, and the United Farm Workers as the remaining members. The SEIU's decision to break away from the AFL-CIO is considered controversial by some labor experts. After the disaffiliation, the SEIU continued to experience significant growth in membership. Stern stepped down as president of SEIU in 2010, and was replaced by Mary Kay Henry, a long-time organizer and staff member at the union, and its first female president.
Presidents of SEIU
- William Quesse (1921–1927)
- Oscar Nelson (1927)
- Jerry Horan (1927–1937)
- George Scalise (1937–1940)
- William McFetridge (1940–1960)
- David Sullivan (1960–1971)
- George Hardy (1971–1980)
- John Sweeney (1980–1995; former president of the AFL–CIO)
- Richard Cordtz (1995–1996)
- Andy Stern (1996–2010)
- Mary Kay Henry (2010–present)
Organizing and political activities
Under the Stern and Henry presidencies, SEIU has organized workers in a number of industries. In some cases, these organizing drives have been built around nationwide campaigns, like the earlier Justice for Janitors campaign. SEIU has organized large numbers of home care attendants in Oregon, Missouri, and Wisconsin, among other states, in some cases working together with other unions.
Since 2004, the union has seen success organizing workers in Texas, Florida, Nevada, and Arizona in particular. Over 5,000 janitors organized with SEIU in Houston, Texas in 2005, which was especially significant due to the size of the campaign and its location in an area with low union density. In Florida, a high-profile strike at the University of Miami which lasted nine weeks and included a hunger strike, ended with the union winning representation of 425 janitors on campus. This victory was shortly followed by another 600 workers at North Shore Medical Center, also in Miami, voting to join the SEIU in early 2006.
One of the major potential areas of union growth in the United States is organizing workers usually hitherto considered "unorganizable," especially low-wage service sector workers, in what is often called "social movement organizing." SEIU has played a major role in the fast food worker strikes from 2012–2014 and has contributed more than $15 million to workers' centers and community organizations to organize them. The motto for the campaign is "$15 and a union," reflecting the call to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour and the unionization of fast food workers. SEIU has recently[when?] begun supporting lawsuits filed by fast food workers to the National Labor Relations Board, calling for McDonald's to be named a joint employer of the restaurants run by its franchisees, a move which would make it substantially easier to unionize McDonald's employees. Adjunct faculty at colleges and universities have been part of a similar campaign.
In June 2004, SEIU launched a non-union-member affiliate group called Purple Ocean as a mechanism to mobilize non-SEIU members in support of the union's agenda. Purple Ocean members do not have voting rights within the SEIU.
In November 2009, the SEIU and the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) competed for the right to represent 10,000 home health-care workers in Fresno, California. After the SEIU won the right to represent the workers, the NUHW charged the SEIU with changing ballots and threatening to report a worker to immigration officials. The NUHW asked that the election be invalidated and a new one ordered due to what it said was evidence of intimidation.
In 2012, SEIU, the American Federation of Teachers and AFSCME agreed on a politics-only alliance for the 2012 national election campaign. In 2016, AFSCME and SEIU announced an extension of that agreement, leading to speculation about a possible future merger.
In 2009, the union launched a nationwide campaign against Sodexo, criticizing the company's labor standards. The union's strategy, which was ultimately unsuccessful, involved organizing student groups to pressure administrators at universities to kick Sodexo out of school cafeterias unless the company permitted unionization. Sodexo USA filed a civil lawsuit against SEIU under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act on March 17, 2011. In the complaint, Sodexo alleged that SEIU engaged in blackmail, vandalism, trespassing, harassment, and lobbying law violations, referring to the "Clean Up Sodexo" campaign as "old-fashioned, strongarm tactics" and SEIU behavior as "egregious" and "illegal."
During the trial, it was revealed that in 1988, the SEIU had co-written a manual detailing how "outside pressure can involve jeopardizing relationships between the employer and lenders, investors, stockholders, customers, clients, patients, tenants, politicians, or others on whom the employer depends for funds." Tactics recommended include references to blackmail and extortion, accusations of racism and sexism, targeting the homes and neighborhoods of business leaders for demonstrations, and also explicitly stated that at times it is necessary to "disobey the law." Following the court discovery of this document, a settlement was reached where Sodexo withdrew the lawsuit and SEIU terminated its public campaign focused on Sodexo.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, since 1990 the SEIU has been the nation's top organization contributing to federal campaigns, donating $232,694,670, 99% of which went to Democrats. Over that same period, the National Education Association was the second highest organizational political donor, contributing $96,992,506, 97% of which went to Democrats. Since 1998, the SEIU has spent $19,676,660 in additional money on lobbying.
1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East
SEIU's largest local union is 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. With a membership of roughly 300,000, it claims to be the largest local union in the world. It represents workers in various parts of New York state, chiefly in New York City, Syracuse, and Buffalo, with additional members located in and around the Canton-Potsdam and Plattsburgh areas of northern New York, as well as Maryland, Washington, D.C., Florida, and Massachusetts.
United Healthcare Workers West
SEIU United Healthcare Workers West (UHW West) is a large (150,000 member) local union based in Oakland, California. In August 2008, the international union announced plans for a hearing to consider trusteeing UHW West. On January 27, 2009, SEIU placed UHW West under trusteeship and dismissed 70 of the local's executives, including president Sal Rosselli. Rosselli and other ousted leaders reformed under the name National Union of Healthcare Workers and pushed for UHW West members at 60 facilities to vote to decertify SEIU. As of 2012, NUHW only represents 6 former SEIU-UHW facilities.
In early 2013, NUHW affiliated with the California Nurses Association. Also, in early 2013, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ordered that the results of the 2010 Kaiser Permanente union election (a vote by nearly 45,000 Kaiser-Permanente employees choosing between NUHW and SEIU-UHW) be overturned based on evidence of collusion between SEIU-UHW and the employer. The second election was won be SEIU-UHW, by a vote of 18,844 to 13,101.
United Long Term Care Workers
United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW) is the second largest SEIU local and the second largest union local in the United States. It represents 180,000 caregivers for seniors and people with disabilities in California.
The organization aids those requiring long term care by supporting the workers providing the care, advocating for seniors and people with disabilities, educating the public about the importance of providing care for this population, and participating in politics relative to providing long term care. By making the general public more aware and striving to reform politics, ULTCW are able to better serve those whom they are assisting.
ULTCW organization serves various counties throughout California, ranging from Napa to San Bernardino. The union has departments in education, executive, strategic partnerships, member services, member strength, organizing, operations, and public affairs. It is divided into six sub-regions by geography and work type. The union provides services such as free classes, telephone hotlines to answer questions regarding the union, and personalized match-ups between care givers and people in need of help to its members. It has been involved in political campaigns including Fight for a Fair Economy, Courage to Care, and many others.
SEIU 32BJ is a politically outspoken building services local based in New York. 32BJ represents over 170,000 property service workers, and is part of SEIU Justice for Janitors, Stand for Security and Multi Service Workers campaigns.
In 2010, SEIU 32BJ's Thomas Shortman Training Fund was awarded a $2.8 million grant by the Department of Labor, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act aiming to create jobs in expanding green industries over the following two years. The program (1,000 Green Supers) was intended to help train 2,200 New York City building superintendents in energy efficiency.
One of the first SEIU locals was Local 87, a local union that traces its origins back to the 1920s, when it was known as Local 9 of the Building Service Employees International Union (BSEIU). It was originally led by George Hardy.
On January 19, 1949 gardeners and custodians workers form Local 99 as LAUSD employees.
SEIU Local 1000 (Union of California State Workers) is affiliated with the California State Employees Association (CSEA) with one other union, the California State University Employees Union, SEIU Local 2579, a non-union affiliate of managers, confidential and supervisory employees who are excluded from collective bargaining, and an affiliate of retired state employees. Yvonne Walker has been president since 2008. SEIU Local 1000 represents 95000 State Government Employees, many of whom are office and administrative workers, librarians, engineers and nurses. Local 1000 deals with issues of concern to current rank-and-file state employees, such as salaries, benefits, working conditions and contract negotiations. Local 1000 has nine bargaining units and represents a variety of state workers, including DMV employees, prison support staff (excluding uniformed guards), information technology workers, nurses and administrative staff.
In Knox v. Service Employees International Union, Local 1000, the U.S. Supreme Court found Local 1000 had used illegal fundraising during the 2005 California Special Election.
National Association of Government Employees (NAGE)
Local 1 Canada
This section does not cite any sources. (March 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The largest local in Canada is SEIU Local 1 Canada. It represents over 50,000 health care and community services workers in Ontario and British Columbia. Its members work in hospitals, home care, nursing and retirement homes and community services.
According to SEIU's Department of Labor records since 2005 (when membership classifications were first reported) about 2% of the union's membership are considered retirees, with eligibility to vote in the union. SEIU contracts also cover some non-members, known as agency fee payers, which since 2005 have numbered comparatively about one tenth of the size of the union's membership. As of 2014 this accounts for about 35,000 retirees and about 180,000 non-members paying agency fees, compared to about 1.8 million regular members.
Archival and historical materials
The official repository of SEIU is the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs at Wayne State University in Detroit. The Reuther Library, the largest labor archives in North America, holds the most complete collection of primary source materials regarding SEIU with over 1,000 linear square feet of the union's records covering 105 years of history (1905-2010). The SEIU Collections include a variety of organizational, executive, photographic, and publicity materials along with many other additional record types. The relationship between SEIU and the Reuther Library began officially in 1992 and the collections have since been maintained by a dedicated SEIU Archivist on staff at the archives. Notable collections include SEIU Executive Office: John Sweeney Records, the District 925 Records, and materials documenting the Justice for Janitors campaign from SEIU's numerous local affiliates.
Additional archival collections can be found at the Special Collections Library of the University of Washington (Building Service Employees' International Union, Local 6 Records and Service Employees International Union, Local 120 Records). The records of SEIU's United Service Workers West, including the Justice for Janitors campaign are held by the UCLA Library Department of Special Collections.
- US Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards. File number 000-137. Report submitted March 31, 2015.
- "Service Employees International Union 2014 LM-2 Report to the U.S. Department of Labor". United States Department of Labor. United States Department of Labor. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- Webb, Laurel. "SEIU United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW)". peggy browning fund. Retrieved 1 June 2013.[permanent dead link]
- Trottman, Melanie; Mullins, Brody (November 1, 2012). "Union Is Top Spender for Democrats". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- Higgins, Sean (September 26, 2013). "SEIU unionists strike over Obamacare-related cuts". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- Bergman, Ben (February 10, 2015). "Unions Have Pushed The $15 Minimum Wage, But Few Members Will Benefit". NPR. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
- Finnegan, William. "Dignity: Fast-food workers and a new form of labor activism". www.newyorker.com. Conde Nast. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- Devaney, Tim (2017-04-03). "SEIU spent $19M on Fight for $15". TheHill. Retrieved 2017-04-22.
- Chiaramonte, Perry (2017-03-31). "SEIU's Fight for $15 may be on 'chopping block,' despite spending $90 million". Fox News. Retrieved 2017-04-22.
- Turner, Lowell; Cornfield, Daniel (2007). Labor in the New Urban Battlegrounds: Local Solidarity in a Global Economy. Cornell University Press. p. 240. ISBN 9780801473609.
- Craig, Clyde (2008). Basic Labor and Employment Law for Paralegals. Aspen Publishers Online. p. 8. ISBN 9780735562332.
- Lum, Belinda (2008). Immigrants and Los Angeles Labor Unions: Negotiating Empowerment, Politics, and Citizenship. ProQuest. p. 106. ISBN 9780549973089.
- Moody, Kim (1988). An Injury to All: The Decline of American Unionism. Verso. p. 213. ISBN 9780860919292.
- Edsall, Thomas B. (July 26, 2005). "Two Top Unions Split From AFL-CIO, Others Are Expected To Follow Teamsters". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
- Hananel, Sam. "Retail workers' union to rejoin AFL-CIO" Archived December 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, Associated Press. Aug. 8, 2013
- Halloran, Liz (April 14, 2010). "Departing SEIU Chief Stern Grew, Split Big Labor". NPR. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- McDonnell, Patrick J. "SEIU Picks First Female President", Los Angeles Times. May 9, 2010.
- "State Government". Statesman Journal. Oregon's mid-Willamette Valley: Gannett.[dead link]
- "Adult foster care workers receive raise". Portland Business Journal. Portland, Oregon: American City Business Journals. August 6, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
Adult foster home care providers reached a one-year agreement with the State of Oregon after seven months of bargaining, becoming the first such workers in the U.S. to win a union contract.
The program aims to support the home-based caregiving -- a lower-cost alternative to institutional care that has lost many providers in recent years due to low rates and tough working conditions.The settlement covers about 2,000 professional caregivers who serve up to five clients, and another 1,500 individuals who care for relatives in the Medicaid-funded adult foster care program. The workers are represented by Local 503 of the Service Employees International Union.
- Lieb, David (2010-05-05). "In-home care workers opt for union representation". Business Week. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2010-05-09. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
- Wahlberg, David (2010-05-06). "Home care workers vote to join union". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved 2010-08-21.
- Steven Greenhouse, "Janitors' Union, Recently Organized, Strikes in Houston," New York Times, November 3, 2006.
- Steven Greenhouse, "Walkout Ends at University of Miami as Janitors' Pact Is Reached," New York Times, May 2, 2006.
- "NLRB Election Report. Cases Closed: February 2006" (PDF). Washington, D.C.: National Labor Relations Board. March 10, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 13, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-07.
- Clawson, Dan. The Next Upsurge: Labor and the New Social Movements. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-8014-8870-2; Tait, Vanessa. Poor Workers' Unions: Rebuilding Labor from Below. Cambridge, Mass.: South End Press, 2005. ISBN 0-89608-714-X; Fantasia, Rick and Voss, Kim. Hard Work: Remaking the American Labor Movement. Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 2004. ISBN 0-520-24090-1
- Bruce Horovitz, Yamiche Alcindor, Chris Woodyard, Calum MacLeod, Kim Hjelmgaard. "Fast food workers rally for higher wages". USA Today.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
- Greenhouse, Steven (27 July 2014). "Fast-Food Workers Intensify Fight for $15 an Hour". New York Times. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "Adjunct faculty ratify first union contract with Maine Community Colleges System". Bangor Daily News. January 21, 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
- Inez May Rivas, Lynn (2007). Built to Last: Preventing Coalition Breakdowns. ProQuest. p. 126. ISBN 9780549528920.
- "Former SEIU staff blow the whistle on SEIU's illegal Fresno campaign". National Union of Healthcare Workers. 2009-11-12. Archived from the original on 2010-01-21. Retrieved 2010-02-03.
- Maher, Kris (2009-11-12). "New Salvo Fired as Unions Battle Over Workers". Wallstreet Journal. Retrieved 2010-02-03.
- PAI (August 1, 2016). "Labor News > Two massive unions, SEIU and AFSCME, announce partnership, potential merger". People's World. Archived from the original on August 3, 2016. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
- Greenhouse, Steven and Scheiber, Noam. 2 Big Labor Unions Share Efforts to Gain Power and Scale, The New York Times, May 5, 2016
- Smith, Ben (January 18, 2010). "SEIU to hit Sodexo at mayors' conference". Politico. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
- Gaus, Mischa. SEIU Settles Sodexo’s Racketeering Suit, with Organizing Gains Uncertain, Labor Notes, November 14, 2011.
- Fleischer, Chris (October 18, 2014). "Savvy Service Employees International Union 'keeps light on'". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- "Food Service Giant Sodexo Files RICO Suit Against SEIU". The Blog of LegalTimes. 2011-03-18. Retrieved 2011-05-06.
- "Sodexo, Inc. v. Service Employees International Union et al". Justicia.com Dockets and Filings. 2011-03-17. Retrieved 2011-05-06.
- Orchart, Alexandra A. A. (25 February 2013), SEIU: Education Department Records (PDF), Detroit, MI: Walter P. Reuther Library, retrieved 3 May 2017
- Lane, Moe (18 July 2011). "The Hysterically Outdated SEIU Intimidation Manual". RedState. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
- Orchart, Alexandra A. A. (3 March 2014), SEIU Adair Damman Papers (PDF), Detroit, MI: Walter P. Reuther Library, retrieved 3 May 2017
- SEIU; AFL-CIO; Canadian Labour Congress (1988). "Contract Campaign Manual". Retrieved 3 May 2017. (Exhibit 8, filed with the court on 17 March 2011)
- Vernuccio, Vincent (2011-07-15). "Labor's new strategy: Intimidation for dummies". Washington Times. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
- "SEIU and Sodexo Reach Amicable Settlement". PR Newswire. 2011-09-15.
- Maher, Kris. SEIU to End Sodexo Campaign, Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2011.
- "Top Organization Contributors". OpenSecrets.org. Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
- "Organizations: Service Employees International Union". OpenSecrets.org. Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
- "SEIU Takes Over West Coast Union", San Francisco Chronicle (January 28, 2009)
- Steven T. Jones, "Union Showdown", San Francisco Bay Guardian (January 28, 2009)
- George Raine, "Ousted SEIU Leaders Push Decertification Vote", San Francisco Chronicle (February 3, 2009)
- http://www.nuhw.org/ourworkplaces[permanent dead link]
- Steve Early, "SEIU Wins Again at Kaiser, But Militant Minority Grows", "Labor Notes"(May 16, 2013)
- Department of Health and Human Services. "Long Term Care Resources". U.S Government. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
- SEIU United Long Term Care Workers. "SEIU ULTCW". Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- https%3A%2F%2Fwww.providencejournal.com%2Fnews%2F20190129%2Flowest-paid-shutdown-workers-arent-getting-back-pay&psig=AOvVaw0etlkvqOFH1A2G_dAA2Iyl&ust=1549132424071878[permanent dead link]
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2010-02-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "ETA News Release: US Department of Labor announces $100 million in green jobs training grants through Recovery Act [01/06/2010]". Archived from the original on 2017-05-13. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- "無添加！酵素ドリンクのおすすめ人気ランキング". 1000supers.com. 9 September 2017. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
- "Inventory of the George Hardy Photograph Collection No. 14".
- Cook, Joan (September 18, 1990). "George Hardy, 79, Pioneer Leader Of Service Worker Union, Is Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
- https://www.seiu99.org/about/access=February 20, 2020
- Sewell, Abby (November 20, 2015). "Largest L.A. County employee union votes to approve contract including 10% raise". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
- Raine, George (2008-05-24). "SEIU elects first black woman president". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Wiliams, Juliet (November 16, 2016). "California's largest public employee union authorizes strike". Mercury News. Association Press.
- "Supreme Court 2011 Term Leading Cases, 126 Harv. L Rev. 186 (2012)" (PDF). harvardlawreview.org. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
- US Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards. File number 000-137. (Search)
- Westerman, Casey. "Archivist Spotlight: SEIU Archivist Alexandra Orchard". Walter P. Reuther Library. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
- "About Us: The Reuther's Mission, Values, and Vision Statements". Walter P. Reuther Library.
- Orchard, Alexandra. "Collection Spotlight: SEIU District 925 Records". SEIU.org. Archived from the original on 2015-03-25.
- "Building Service Employees' International Union, Local 6 records - Special Collections, UW Libraries".
- "Service Employees International Union, Local 120 records - Special Collections, UW Libraries".
- "Service Employees International Union, United Service Workers West records, ca. 1935-2008".
- Fink, Leon, and Brian Greenberg. Upheaval in the Quiet Zone: 1199/SEIU and the Politics of Healthcare Unionism (2nd ed. 2009)
- Fletcher, Bill, and Fernando Gapasin. Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized Labor and a New Path toward Social Justice (2009)
- Lopez, Steven Henry. Reorganizing the Rust Belt: An Inside Study of the American Labor Movement (2004), focus on SEIU in Pittsburgh
- Plumer, Bradford. "Labor's Love Lost," New Republic, April 23, 2008, Vol. 238, Issue 7 online in Academic Search Premier, focus on conflict between Stern and Rosselli
- George E. Flood Papers 1933-1960. .25 cubic feet (1 box).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to SEIU.|