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SEIU takes part in the "Poor People's Campaign"

23 May 2018
Services Employees International Union (SEIU), a PSI affiliate in the US, is joining the "Poor People's Campaign" pushing for better wages and union rights for the working poor. Originally led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr 50 years ago, this campaign is as important today as it was back then.

Half a century later, as Republican leaders ram through a ruinous tax bill that will exacerbate economic inequality, a coalition of trade unions, faith and social justice organizations is bringing King’s vision into the 21st century. In a statement, two of the campaign architects, Rev. William J. Barber II and Rev. Liz Theoharis, are calling for social justice: 

Now, more than ever, working people need strong unions to fight back and win the good jobs and fair pay that workers of all races and backgrounds need in order to have a decent life. 

Visit: The website of Poor People's Campaign for more information

The campaign is meant to unite Americans across all races, creeds, religions, classes and other divides to demand a moral agenda for the common good.  

SEIU: Working families are under attack

SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement in support of the Rev. Dr. William Barber’s launch of a new Poor People’s Campaign and National Call for a Moral Revival: 

Working families are under attack on multiple fronts from the self-interested politicians and their greedy corporate backers who have waged a decades-long assault on working people and communities of color. The (...) campaign comes at a crucial time when we are under a more furious, sustained assault than any time in recent memory.

The Fight for $15 and SEIU, among other unions, are actively involved in this movement. It will be long-term, bold and focused on systemic change. It will combine demands for socio-economic justice, workers' rights, migrant rights, racial justice, and environmental justice. 

PSI: Working people are uniting throughout the world

PSI General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli has been waiting for a campaign like this for a long time. She has great expectations and hopes it will unite working people and increase their influence and power in US society.  

Throughout the world, we see that working people are uniting and fighting for universal rights, such as a living wage and good working conditions. The struggle for freedom, equality and solidarity will never be outdated. When social movements and trade unions get together, we tend to win. The struggle for fair wages and equal opportunities is another fight we will win, as long as we stand together fighting for the community.

International campaign day on June 23 

The movement has just launched a call for 40 days of non-violent civil disobedience throughout the United States, culminating in a national action on June 23 - UN Public Service Day.  

The implications of this struggle are global. SEIU is supporting the Poor People's Campaign in its call for global demonstrations of solidarity on June 23.  

We are asking global allies to take solidarity photos or video on June 23 and post or tweet to #PoorPeoplesCampaign.  

PSI supports this call for solidarity. 

Why it's a great need for change: 

  • Over the last five decades, economic inequality has soared; it was recently revealed that three people control the same amount of wealth as half of the U.S. population and 44% of Americans are poor or low-income. 

  • There are fewer voting rights since the Selma to Montgomery march as voter suppression laws have been enacted in 22 States. 

  • The imbalance between the federal government’s spending on the military compared to social programs has become more acute. 

  • Climate change, extreme extraction, water pollution, and the lack of sanitation services are wreaking havoc on our planet, disproportionately affecting poor and marginalized people. 

Also see