1199ers Commemorate Juneteenth with Political Action

September 5, 2022

Members took to the streets in Washington D.C. and Buffalo, NY, to press for change.

Screen Shot 2022-09-05 at 10.21.17 AM.png199SEIU members have always stood at the forefront of the most important movements for justice, equity, and peace. In the weekend before the new Juneteenth Federal holiday, 1199ers from around the Union were making their voices heard. In many shops, members have also negotiated a paid holiday for Juneteenth, the day which commemorates the end of chattel slavery in the United States.

In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., hundreds of members took part in the Moral March on Washington on June 18th with the national Poor People’s Campaign, as part of a massive gathering of low-wage workers to demand policies that address poverty and inequity.

“We have come out today because no matter what we do—if we work two jobs, or even three jobs—everybody is still struggling. So, there is something wrong with the system,” explained Craig Moore a Delegate who works in the Dietary department at NYU/ Long Island Community Hospital in Patchogue, NY.

“With 1199, the boss pays for my benefits,” he added, “But there are people out there that don’t have that. I’m out here today because we want the top one per cent to understand that we’re going to stick together moving forward and we’re going to go after them to get our fair share.”

On the same day that 1199ers were marching in the nation’s capital, members in Buffalo, NY, were taking part in the nation’s second largest Juneteenth parade in their home city.

“The Juneteenth celebration from a historical standpoint means so much,” said Home Care worker Lynette Robinson, adding: “To care for people during this historical time means so much to me that I must be a part of it.

“It's also important because of the shootings that happened in Buffalo and across the country. People need to learn how to respect and appreciate other cultures, other jobs, other types of food and everything. We need to learn to appreciate one another and instead of living in hate, we need to live in love,” said Robinson, referencing the racist massacre of 10 innocent shoppers at a grocery store in Buffalo, NY, on May 14.

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1199 Magazine - July / August 2022