Peace and International Cooperation

Solidarity both at home and abroad has been a central tenet of our work and lies at the heart of our policy of peace and international cooperation. 1199 was among the first unions to protest the U.S. war against Vietnam and Indochina. We stood in opposition to U.S. support for anti-democratic Contras forces in Central America and we were among the first unions to oppose the U.S. war in Iraq in 2003.

Throughout the 1980s, our union was at the forefront of the international campaign to bring down the system of apartheid in South Africa, and, in 1990, the then union president, Dennis Rivera, was part of a delegation that traveled to South Africa to mark the historic release of Nelson Mandela from prison.

In 2001, Rivera and attorney Robert Kennedy Jr. were arrested for civil disobedience in response to an action to prevent the U.S. Navy from shelling the Puerto Rican island of Vieques.

Our union has also contributed resources and volunteers toward humanitarian aid efforts in the aftermath of recent natural disasters such as delivering aid to the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico in 2017.

Dec 26, 2018
Anxiety punctuated much of the last year, but 1199ers continued to shine, winning in the workplace, standing up to attacks on health care, fighting for our families and communities and pushing back against hate and injustice.
Nov 13, 2017
When Hurricane Irma hit the U.S. island of Puerto Rico, it took the lives of three people and left 70 percent of the residents without power. Just days later, Hurricane Maria flattened the island, drenching it with record rainfall, knocking out all of its power and much of its water supply, destroying its agriculture and littering its roads with uprooted trees and downed power lines. The hurricane’s devastation came as Puerto Rico struggles under the weight of an economic crisis worsened by the island’s decaying infrastructure.
Oct 3, 2017
When @1199SEIU members heard that a plane of medical supplies to help the injured in Puerto Rico was leaving this morning, they were quick to step up and help get those supplies to those who needed them.
Jun 3, 2013
1199SEIU President George Gresham was in Puerto Rico during the end of May to back an initiative for the establishment of a commission t...

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