Local 1000 takes the lead to IGNITE! change in the labor movement
"Economic justice for all" theme of national conference
A Local 1000 delegation joined other SEIU members, staff, officers and non-union workers from across the country for the IGNITE! Sparking Leadership Conference March 7-10 in St. Louis. IGNITE partici-pants spent four days sharing their stories, exploring the connections between economic and social jus- tice, and visualizing what it would mean to win $15 an hour for millions of workers.
Twenty-five Local 1000 partici- pants, including Vice President for Organizing/Representation Tamekia N. Robinson, attended IGNITE and came back ready to bring the inspiration of the confer- ence to our local and to their daily lives.
Though a variety of leadership themes ran through the conference, the Fight for $15–a nationwide movement uniting labor, low- wage workers, youth and faith-based groups in the drive to make corporations pay a living wage– was the major focus and became the rallying cry that the participants took home. After hearing from and celebrating the low-wage workers who bravely instigated the Fight for $15 and a union, IGNITE attendees committed to mobilizing their friends, families and coworkers to support the up- coming National Day of Action on April 15, 2015.
The Fight for $15 and a Union is about more than low-wage fast- food workers. The battle has expanded to include adjunct col- lege professors–many of whom have advanced college degrees– healthcare workers and airport workers, among others. This is a battle where state workers can make a difference by helping working families, friends and our communities to achieve a more secure economy and a better quality of life for all of us.
“The energy was great,” said Robinson of IGNITE’s mix of hope and determination. “Over 1000 members and staff from across the nation com- ing together to ignite our leadership, and sparking change in the labor movement that we need to rise to the challenge of the moment we’re in.”
“You want to be part of a change. I feel like I’m part of a labor movement.” Tonya Bealey, DMV mem- ber leader said. “It’s changed me for sure.”