SEIU Members rally behind Jessica Martinez for appointment as next CAL/OSHA Chief

November 19, 2021
Posted in Press Release

Mike Roth, 916.813.1554
Maria Elena Jauregui, 818.355.5291 (Spanish-language)

Sacramento, CA — The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California released the following statement from Bob Schoonover, Executive Director of SEIU Local 721 and President of SEIU California: 

“SEIU locals in California and our 700,000 members in frontline roles across California wholeheartedly support Jessica Martinez to become the next Chief of Cal/OSHA.   With a deadly virus chasing down workers and following them home to frontline communities, the need to make workplaces safe and the critical role of Cal/OSHA in workplace justice and equity have never been clearer.   We are confident that Ms. Martinez is the leader California needs to protect workers in this pandemic, to strengthen the agency charged with keeping workers safe from injury and disease, and to empower workers to speak out against unsafe working conditions. 

“SEIU members have led the charge to make California the safest place in the nation to work, and we know the laws and regulations workers fought so hard to put on the books are only as tough as Cal/OSHA’s ability to enforce them.  Jessica Martinez would bring to this role two decades of expertise in worker health and safety.  As the first Latina Cal/OSHA Chief and the daughter of immigrant parents, we know she would bring to the role a keen eye for the impact of enforcement decisions on justice and equity. 

“SEIU members share a vision for a California of unparalleled opportunity, justice and equity. A strong leader in Cal/OSHA is a critical partner in fighting the unsafe conditions of exploitation, sexual assault and harassment, and other threats to our vision. We are hopeful that we will be able to work with Jessica Martinez as California’s next Cal/OSHA chief to fulfill this vision.” 

SEIU local unions in California are made up of over 700,000 nurses, healthcare workers, janitors, social workers, security officers, in-home caregivers, school and university employees, court workers, and city, county and state employees.

SEIU members work in the private and public sector; we live in all 58 counties of the state. We are Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, and we represent California in all its diversity.