Chicago hospital worker: ‘When the pandemic struck … he stood up for us and with us’
Johnson to essential healthcare worker: ‘It’s time that workers…help lead this city’
CHICAGO—On heels of a strong midterms election for Service Employee International Union Healthcare Illinois (SEIU HCII)-endorsed candidates and the Workers’ Rights Amendment, leaders and workers held a press conference on Monday to endorse Brandon Johnson in the 2023 race for Chicago Mayor. Flanked by labor leaders, SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Greg Kelley announced the union’s official endorsement, praising Johnson’s track record of putting working people first.
“Brandon has long acted out that value that is so crucial to us as a union of healthcare workers: The deep understanding that we all do better when we all do better,” said SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Greg Kelley. “Brandon shares our values and a multi-racial, multicultural vision with the power to galvanize all Chicagoans — young and old, Black, Brown and White —who are working for a Chicago that works for everyone. We’re eager to fight with him to lift everyone and every neighborhood up.”
In making their endorsement, SEIU Healthcare Illinois members including child care, home care and healthcare workers cited Johnson’s push for safe staffing in hospitals and nursing homes, a community-investment approach to public safety, universal child care, on-the-job protections and the right to organize.
“When the pandemic struck and those of us on the frontlines were struggling to get the PPE and other resources, we needed to protect ourselves and keep from spreading COVID to our patients and coworkers, Brandon understood what we were going through. He stood up for us and with us,” said Kim Smith, a healthcare worker at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
And Johnson has been a champion for working families since long before the pandemic. An organizer for the Chicago Teachers’ Union and member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, Johnson has fought alongside SEIU Healthcare Illinois members for policies that help working people, including child care for all, workplace safety measures, safe staffing levels at hospitals and nursing homes, and more.
“Childcare providers are essential to the existence of workers in Chicago. We need to fully fund and make sure that child care is not just expanded but is a guarantee,” said Brandon Johnson. “For too long the interests of corporations have controlled the outcomes in this city and it has failed miserably. Now it’s time that workers rise up and help lead this city. We will not be silenced anymore!”
SEIU HCII is the fastest-growing union in the Midwest representing 90,000 hospital, nursing home, home care and child care workers.
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