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June 2, 2008

SEIU Convention -- These Are PROGRESSIVE People

-- by Dave Johnson

I am at the SEIU convention in Puerto Rico. There are 3500 representatives here, each representing a number of workers. SEIU now has 2 million members and growth is accelerating.

I'm in a darkened convention hall, listening and absorbing, with things coming at me from all directions. I'm talking to members and leaders. So I am not yet writing a lot. I'm just posting short posts until the larger stories appear and then I'll be writing a lot about this event and ongoing.

This is a great thing happening here. THESE people are going to really make changes happen -- with health care the first priority. This is janitors, health care workers, and others, a real bottom-up movement of people who work hard. This is one of the most diverse crowds I have been in and these are dedicated people. And these are PROGRESSIVE people!

The focus here is beyond the SEIU in particular and labor movement in general. The focus here is on the inequities in our current imbalanced economic system. We all know that it is working for a very few people at the top and not for the rest of us. And SEIU recognizes that they can't make the lives of just their workers better -- even if they could it wouldn't stick if other workers are still at starving wages with no benefits because employers can just use them as a wedge to pressure SEIU workers away from asking for a fair share. So they recognize that they have to work to make the economy start working for everyone.

More to come.

[Disclaimer: Blogger hotel and airfare paid for by the SEIU]

Posted by Dave Johnson at June 2, 2008 11:57 AM

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