SEIU California leaders with membership in the Los Angeles area have convened to discuss the remarks that were made public yesterday involving a conversation among City Council President Nury Martinez, Councilmember Kevin de León, Councilmember Gil Cedillo, and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera.
The following statement may be attributed to the leaders of SEIU California with Los Angeles area membership: SEIU Local 2015, SEIU 721, SEIU-UHW (United Healthcare Workers West), SEIU-USWW (United Service Workers West), SEIU Local 99, SEIU Local 121rn, SEIU-CIR (Committee on Interns and Residents), CFA (California Faculty Association), and CSUEU (California State University Employees Union).
“It was painful to learn the details of the discussion between Los Angeles City Councilmembers Nury Martinez, Kevin de León, and Gil Cedillo, as well as Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera. These are all people whom SEIU members have supported in the past.
“The anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, homophobia, abuse of power, divisiveness and outright cruelty expressed in this conversation are outrageous and unacceptable. These are not the values of the labor movement and they undermine the unity required to build an equitable Los Angeles. These individuals have failed the test of leadership. It is important that they resign their positions and step aside so the healing can begin and our movement can come together to make progress for all working people in Los Angeles.
“To Councilmember Bonin and your family, we share your sorrow, anger and hurt. No family should ever face such abuse. To the Black, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ communities who are today processing another toxic attack on our children’s and our families’ worth and dignity, we join with you and commit to fighting for a better society.”
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.
Statement in agreement from SEIU Secretary-Treasurer/SEIU 2015 President April Verrett and SEIU 2015 Executive Vice President Arnulfo De La Cruz:
The comments heard on this recording are racist and deplorable, and all involved should resign. Most importantly, we must reject this undemocratic and bigoted way of thinking. This is not who we are as a labor movement and as a City. The values we stand for were attacked in the words we heard. Pitting one group against another only tears us all down. What makes us strong is our commitment to solidarity, equity, and commitment to one another. Ours is a movement about bringing people together. Out of this terrible development, let us reconfirm our commitment to a diverse multiracial, multiethnic coalition where everyone has a voice and a seat at the table.