Press Releases

Rep. Ellison Works a Day With a Minnesota Home Care Worker

Event comes as home care workers across the country raise their voices as part of the “Fight for $15″

Minneapolis, MN – Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) joined Clara Nakumbe, a home care worker from Minneapolis and member of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, for a “Work a Day” event today to shine light on the important work that home care workers do every single day. Nakumbe is a mother, grandmother and a great-grandmother who, along with others, is a caregiver for her 42-year-old son, Siran. In the eleven years since Siran was diagnosed with a severe form of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), he has gone from being able to do everything for himself to being completely dependent on others for everything. Rather than have Siran move into a nursing home, Clara decided to give up the job that she loved and made decent money at in order to care for him.  (more…)

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Workers and Supporters Hold Rally at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport for $15 and a Union

Event comes after worker-led victories as calls continue for $15 and Union to ensure MSP is safe, secure and stable for both passengers and workers

St. Paul, MN — On Saturday afternoon, dozens of airport workers and community supporters took action to demand $15 and Union rights at the Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) Airport. The event followed recent worker-led victories that saw the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) respond to workers demands by passing a paid sick policy and raise the minimum wage for thousands of airport workers to $10 per hour (and $1 above the state’s minimum wage going forward). Despite these important steps in the right direction, workers still are fighting for $15 and a Union to end poverty wages at MSP and improve working conditions to ensure that MSP is safe, secure and stable for both passengers and workers.

MSP_Airport_15_rsAbdi Ali has been a sub-contracted cart driver at MSP since 2007. He helps Delta passengers, especially those with disabilities and elderly passengers, get to their gates so they are able to travel. He spoke at the rally about the need to end poverty wages at MSP to make sure the airport is safe, secure and stable for both passengers and workers.

“We work hard to make sure that the airport runs smoothly — even when it’s freezing cold or during the busy holidays — to make sure that Minnesotans can see their families and do their business. Although we like our jobs, we don’t get the pay that we deserve. Because of our hard work, for the first time in my 8 years of working at the airport, my co-workers and I will be making above the state minimum wage. Because we fought, we are now making $10 an hour, and that is a big victory. But while we celebrate the progress we have made, its important to remember that $10 per hour does not end poverty wages at the airport. $10 does not allow me to quit my second job.”

“And most importantly, we need to talk about what these work conditions mean in real life,” Ali continued. “Each day new workers quit their jobs at the airport because they found a better job. That means each new person gets a badge. If we want to be serious about security, we need to have jobs that keep the best workers at the job, and doesn’t have a constant turnover of employees and security badges. That is why we are calling to end poverty wage jobs at the airport and for $15 and a Union. $15 and a Union is important because that will help ensure we have a safe and secure airport.”

Attending the rally was MAC Commissioner Erica Prosser, who accepted hundreds of petitions signed by airport workers with the promise to make sure they were delivered to the Chair of the MAC Commission.

Photos are available upon request.

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SEIU Local 26 is Minnesota’s Property Services Union, uniting more than 6,000 janitors, security officers, and window cleaners in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. SEIU unites more than 225,000 property services workers nationally, and over 2 million including workers in healthcare and the public sector.

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Thousands of Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Workers See Wages Increased to $10/Hour

Many workers, including MAC Commissioner Ibrahim Mohamed, go from the current minimum wage of $8/hour to $10/hour in big victory for workers, while calls continue for $15 and a Union

St. Paul, MN — On Saturday, August 1st, thousands of sub-contracted Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) Airport workers saw their wages jump to $10/hour, with many going to that rate from the current state minimum wage of $8/hour, an increase of close to $4,000 per year for a full-time worker. The decision to make the airport minimum wage $1 above the state minimum wage was voted on by the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) in May after months of pressure from airport workers calling for better pay and work conditions for minimum wage employees sub-contracted by airlines like Delta. Airport officials estimate the new minimum wage could affect 2,800 employees. (more…)

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In First Large Union Election in the Region Since New NLRB Rules, 350 Unity Hospital Workers Vote to Join SEIU

Nursing Assistants, Dietary Aides and others vote overwhelmingly to join SEIU Healthcare Minnesota

Fridley, Minn – On Tuesday, nearly 350 workers at Unity Hospital in Fridley voted to join Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Minnesota. It was the first major election in the region that happened under the new National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rules. Jobs in the bargaining unit include Nursing Assistants, Dietary Aides, Environmental Services Aides, Patient Care Technicians, Health Unit Coordinators and others. The vote was 59.4% to 40.6% in favor of joining the union. (more…)

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As White House Conference on Aging Begins, Minnesota Home Care Workers Traveling to Washington D.C to Voice Concerns on ‘Care Crisis’

Workers to Join National Discussion on Improving Long Term Care as New Report Highlights Growing Challenges

St. Paul – Just weeks after their historic first contract went into effect, two Minnesota home care workers will travel to Washington D.C. as part of a select group to discuss the best ways to improve long term care for the aging population across America with members of Congress, including Rep. Keith Ellison. Home care workers will be a part of the conversation around the White House Conference on Aging, speaking at the conference and engaging remotely in Washington and in select cities across the country. Studies show that low pay among home care workers, which averages $17,000 each year, leads to alarmingly high turnover, jeopardizes critical services and strains the home care system as more and more Americans rely on and choose home care instead of expensive long term care facilities. (more…)

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Minnesota Home Care Workers Celebrate First Day of Historic Union Contract

Contract wins include paid time off, higher wage floor, workplace protections, training fund and more for 27,000 workers represented

St. Paul, MN - After years of advocacy by home care workers and the people they support, today marks the first day of the historic home care union contract. After voting last year to form their union and join Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Minnesota, home care workers reached an agreement with the state in January on this first contract for the 27,000 workers in the new bargaining unit. The agreement was ratified by union members and by the Minnesota Legislature as part of the Health and Human Services (HHS) omnibus budget bill.  (more…)

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Janitors who Clean Twin Cities Macy’s and Other Big Box Stores Go on Strike

Workers from over 50 stores across the Metro walked off jobs to highlight low wages, wage theft, lack of benefits and poor working conditions

Minneapolis, MN — Janitors who clean Macy’s, Sears, Home Depot, Lunds & Byerlys, car dealerships, Herberger’s and other big box stories went on strike early Tuesday morning. Workers from over 50 stores in the Twin Cities walked off the job and picketed in front of the downtown Minneapolis Macy’s. (Photos available by request) The workers, who are members of Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL), a Twin Cities worker center, and SEIU Local 26, were joined by hundreds of supporters on the picket line starting at 6 a.m. Workers called for higher wages and benefits, along with better working conditions. The strike came just weeks after a lawsuit claiming wage theft by a company contracted to clean big box stores in the Twin Cities.  (more…)

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SEIU Minnesota State Council Endorses Peggy Flanagan

Members cite Flanagan’s continued commitment to children, families and working people
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SEIU endorsed candidate for State Representative 46A, Peggy Flanagan

St. Paul, MN – The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Minnesota State Council is excited to announce its endorsement of Peggy Flanagan in her run for the Minnesota House in 46A, a district where hundreds of SEIU members live and work. SEIU members and leaders chose to endorse Flanagan at this time so they can begin talking to their neighbors about Flanagan’s proven track record as a progressive leader who has been a longtime advocate for issues important to working families in our state. With their endorsement, SEIU members highlighted Flanagan’s drive and desire to be a champion at the capitol for children, families and working people across the state. (more…)

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Home Care Workers Celebrate Legislative Passage of Historic First Contract

Contract will go into effect on July 1st for 27,000 home care workers across the state, improving the lives of workers and the people they serve

St. Paul, MN – With the Governor’s signing of the Omnibus Health and Human Services bill today, leaders from SEIU Healthcare Minnesota celebrated the legislative passage of their historic first home care contract. The contract, the first new union contract with the state of Minnesota in decades, had bipartisan support in the Legislature, including stand-alone bill authors Sandy Pappas (SF1274), Rod Hamilton (HF2035), and Denny McNamara (HF1298). The contract will go into effect on July 1st and covers approximately 27,000 home care workers across the state. Key victories in the contract include workers receiving a paid time off benefit for the first time (five days of paid time off for full-time workers), raising the pay floor from $9 to $11 by 2016, a grievance and arbitration procedure to address wage theft, and a training fund to improve the quality of care they provide to people with disabilities and seniors. Workers championed the contract as a great step forward for both themselves and the people they serve.  (more…)

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SEIU Leaders Comment As Last Day of Legislative Session Comes to an End

Praise gains in long-term care, express frustration on stalled bi-partisan bills and call for real funding in education

St. Paul, MN – As the last day of the 2015 legislative session came to an end at the Capitol, leaders of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in Minnesota issued the following statements: (more…)

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