A Labor Day Message from our President
We Are Fighting For All Working Families


Every year on the first Monday in September, we take the opportunity to celebrate Labor Day and reflect on how far working people have come and the contributions organized labor has made to all of our lives. The eight-hour work day, weekends, paid vacations, retirement security, employer provided health care: All these improvements in working conditions would never have happened without the labor movement. It is this power and legacy we celebrate on Labor Day. 

As state workers in the most populous state—a state with the sixth largest economy in the world— Local 1000 members hold a unique place in the story of labor. As the largest state employee union in California, we provide quality public services to almost 40 million California residents each and every day. Other states look to us to be the model for labor standards and workplace practices. We are leaders in fighting for social, economic and environmental justice. 

Labor Day 2016 finds us in the middle of a tough battle for our contract. The state’s offer doesn’t reflect the important work that we do. But our visibility and leadership means our contract fight is about more than the pay of our 95,000 represented employees; it’s about reminding people that the most important part of any state’s economy is the workers who make it run. And it’s about taking a stand, starting here in California, to stop the fifty-year decline of the middle class. 

This Labor Day, as we celebrate the history of organized labor, let us also be mindful of our role in labor’s present and future. Because when we stand up for ourselves and for what we know is right, we stand up for workers for generations to come.


Yvonne R. Walker
SEIU Local 1000