SEIU members celebrate Labor Day as membership increases
Labor Day is a time when the United States remembers the fight to secure rights for workers across many different industries. Monday in Rochester SEIU, a healthcare workers union, got together to commemorate the day.
SEIU is a labor union bringing together around 40,000 healthcare workers from Minnesota and Iowa.
“We’re here to celebrate workers, the people who were on the frontlines here during the pandemic,” said SEIU Minnesota and Iowa President Jamie Gulley.
For union members, Labor Day is a celebration and a reminder of what can be accomplished when people band together.
“We’re standing up for our rights; for respect, for protection, and for pay,” Gulley said.
“So often people are like, ‘oh yeah it’s a three day weekend.’ But really — people fought for this,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, who stopped by the event to give a heartfelt thank you.
“I lost my brother to COVID-19 in March of 2020. That is the lens through which I have seen this entire pandemic. For those of you who went into work every day to take care of all of us, you have my tremendous gratitude,” she said to the crowd.
SEIU is also celebrating an increase in membership. The event officially welcomed the almost 500 Planned Parenthood workers that voted to join the union in July.
“Across the state about 2,000 workers have joined our union since Labor Day last year,” Gulley said.