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Faith Based Groups Add Their Support to Prominent Union’s Platform for Change

by Coaltion of Faith-Based Organizaions Sunday, Apr. 06, 2008 at 12:29 PM
jfav_causa@yahoo.com 323-547-3640 P.O. Box 39535 Los Angeles, Ca 90039-0535

Faith based organizations from across the country have lent their support to a California union’s fight to keep the labor movement democratic. United Healthcare Workers–West (UHW–West) is involved in a major dispute with its international union, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) over member involvement and democracy. The UHW–West Executive Board, led by President Sal Rosselli, recently ratified a Platform for Change that outlines a strategy to build a democratic, member-run union with the mission of truly improving workers’ lives. The faith based groups supporting this effort believe that UHW-West’s platform is the best way to ensure that workers have a real voice in running their unions. “The absence of individual voice leads to a dictatorship, said Archbishop Eric Tan Ong Veloso. “That is the reason we support UHW-West leaders Sal Rosselli and Administrative Vice President Jay Valencia’s principled stand for the union and its members.”

MEDIA ADVISORY
Thursday, April 4, 2008

CONTACT: Rev. Eric Tan Ong Veloso


Archbishop, Patriarch Exarch Plenipotentiary


American Orthodox Catholic Church


P.O. Box 39535


Los Angeles, CA 90039-0535


PHONE #: (323) 547-3640


(323) 300-6249



Faith Based Groups Add Their Support to Prominent Union’s Platform for Change

Los Angeles – Faith based organizations from across the country have lent their support to a California union’s fight to keep the labor movement democratic. United Healthcare Workers–West (UHW–West) is involved in a major dispute with its international union, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) over member involvement and democracy.

The UHW–West Executive Board, led by President Sal Rosselli, recently ratified a Platform for Change that outlines a strategy to build a democratic, member-run union with the mission of truly improving workers’ lives. The faith based groups supporting this effort believe that UHW-West’s platform is the best way to ensure that workers have a real voice in running their unions. “The absence of individual voice leads to a dictatorship, said Archbishop Eric Tan Ong Veloso. “That is the reason we support UHW-West leaders Sal Rosselli and Administrative Vice President Jay Valencia’s principled stand for the union and its members.”

Other faith community leaders who supports SEIU- UHW- West include: Rev. Brooke Rolston, retired pastor and member of the University Baptist Church, Seattle; Rev. Emilio E. Muller, Director of Latino Ministries, California Pacific United Methodist Church; Pastor Wilberd Viel, Trinity Seventh Day Adventist Church of West Covina; Ago Pedalizo, Ecumenical Fellowship for Justice and Peace-USA; Pastor Franco Arcebal, Mustard Seed Bible Study Group of Los Angeles; Fr. Rene De Guzman of the Sanctuary Movement in LA, Fr. Joe Tronco and Fr. Julian Gomilla, Simbayan Catholic Church; Elder Davis Um and Deacon Danny Espinosa, San Francisco Mission Presbyterian Church and Rev.Leandro Marcos, Rosewood United Methodist Church.

Principles from the UHW-West Platform for Change include:
• Promoting union democracy by ensuring that members participate in and vote on all contract negotiations
• Organizing the unorganized with active participation of worksite leaders
• Improving the lives of workers and patients by fighting to win higher standards in health care
• Building power for workers in society

Rosselli and Valencia expressed gratitude for the support of the faith based groups. “We are extremely grateful to have the support of the religious community,” said Valencia. “Through their actions they are honoring workers’ rights and the fight for social justice.”

The 150,000-member SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West is the largest hospital and healthcare union in the western United States and represents every type of healthcare worker, including nurses, professional, technical and service classifications.

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