1199SEIU Statement on Hurricane Fiona and Puerto Rico

September 20, 2022

“The healthcare workers of 1199SEIU stand with the people of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic as they emerge from yet another devastating hurricane.  Extreme weather events fueled by climate change are contributing to perpetual economic and humanitarian crisis in much of our hemisphere, and the United States and the global community must take urgent action.


“Puerto Rico’s island-wide blackout and its effect on hospitals and critical health services—already suffering from years of neglect—underscores how important it is for the United States to take seriously the needs of the island’s 3.3 million residents.  This means rebuilding its failing infrastructure, fostering broad economic development, and providing immediate economic aid to uplift the 6 in 10 Puerto Rican children who live below the federal poverty line, twice the amount of the poorest US state.


“We applaud President Biden for his urgent declaration of a federal emergency to ensure that FEMA support gets on the ground in Puerto Rico without delay.  As the island recovers from this immediate crisis, 1199SEIU calls for continued and renewed federal action to address the long-term needs of Puerto Rico.”



1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in New York and nationwide. We represent over 450,000 total members throughout New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Florida, and Washington, D.C.   Our mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all.