We are under attack from the courts, from politicians and from groups of anti-union billionaires.
But we are not victims. Our future is in our hands. Because they cannot stop us from uniting, from standing up for each other or from demanding and agitating for respect and fairness in the workplace.
It can be easy to forget where we came from, and we have accomplished so much over our history.
SEIU Local 500 was founded over fifty years ago, when a group of supporting service employees at Montgomery County Public Schools banded together and demanded the right to bargain for a union contract.
This required lobbying the legislature and the governor to give them the legal right to collective bargaining, but they did not wait for the politicians to act to demand respect from their employer.
Contingent faculty, especially adjuncts, were a group that many in the labor movement did not believe would ever organize. Today, the overwhelming majority of adjuncts in Washington, DC, are represented by SEIU Local 500, and the movement is spreading like wildfire.
Progressive nonprofits have not always lived up to their values in the way they have treated their employees, but we helped to start a tidal wave of union victories among the progressive nonprofits. Because of those victories, many organizations are seeing that having a union actually supports their missions.
Together we have risen, and together we have won amazing victories.
It has not been easy, but through your solidarity and your commitment to building a powerful force for justice at work and in the community, we have always overcome every challenge.
Together We Rise.
Thank you for everything that you do.
President, SEIU Local 500