BALTIMORE, MD — Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown met with healthcare workers at Johns Hopkins Hospital early Wednesday morning to share with the caregivers his vision for a better Maryland and stress the importance of voting.
The gubernatorial candidate greeted workers outside the hospital during the facility’s shift change from 6:30 to 7:15 am, allowing third shift employees leaving work and arriving first shift workers a chance to meet the candidate, ask questions, and take photos.
Organized by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the event occurred the day before Maryland’s early voting period ends, and Brown took the opportunity to encourage the hospital workers to take advantage of the remaining days in the early voting period.
“A lot of people have struggled and sacrificed to extend the vote in this country,” said the Lt. Governor. “We have expanded access to the ballot, but even in Maryland there have been efforts to prevent people from voting. We have a right and a responsibility to vote.”
The majority of the caregivers who met with Brown are 1199SEIU members who participated in an historical three-day strike in April, demanding an end to the hospital’s poverty pay. The contract was settled in July, and workers expressed concern about the economy and their financial futures.
“We really worked hard to get raises during our last contract fight. To me, it looks like Anthony Brown is the only candidate who is really talking about working class people. He was out there with us when we fought to raise the minimum wage in Maryland and stood by us when we went on strike,” said Wiley Rhymer, a floor technician who took part in negotiating the Hopkins contract.
Anthony Brown addressed the crowd, saying, “Ken Ulman and I believe in collective bargaining. We believe in the power of organized labor and we will fight hard to support you. That’s how we’ll strengthen our workforce—not just for those in unions but all working people.”
With over 400,000 caregivers, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. Almost 10,000 caregivers in Maryland and D.C. are united in 1199SEIU. Together, they work to ensure quality care and quality jobs for all.