Workers at Bain Capital-owned corporations kicked off a bus tour in St. Louis, MO, with SEIU HCIIMK members before making its way across the country. Current and former employees launched a month-long journey intended to educate voters in key states to reject Mitt Romney’s economic vision for our country.
Bonnie Borman has worked at Sensata Technologies in Freeport, IL, for 23 years but thanks to Bain Capital she’s been training her Chinese replacement along with her 170 other coworkers whose jobs are being outsourced. The Sensata workforce has been camping out across from the plant in their makeshift campaign headquarters they’ve named ‘Bainport.’
“We know firsthand what a Romney Economy looks like,” said Bonnie “Outsourcing good, American jobs, slashing wages and benefits, and devastating our communities. As we make this trip across the country and continue to camp out in front of our plant, our message to voters will be clear: The Romney economy didn’t work for us, and it won’t work for you.”
The Bain Worker Bus Tour also made stops in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, and the presidential debate in Hempstead, NY, before culminating in a day of action in Bostom, MA, where both Romney’s campaign and Bain Capital are headquartered.
CHICAGO – In the wake of the Chicago Teachers Union’s announcement suspending its successful strike to protect the city’s schools, Keith Kelleher, President of the SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana, issued the following statement:
The 91,000 members of SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana salute their brothers and sisters in the Chicago Teachers Union for their successful stand in defense of a quality education for all of the city’s school children.
At a time when working men and women are constantly embattled by corporate-backed political agendas hostile to collective bargaining, the Chicago teachers’ strike represented a resurgence of grassroots power, as educators, parents, children and community leaders united to protect their schools. They will leave a legacy of inspiration to working families across the country.
As classes resume Wednesday, parents and their children can credit this courageous strike for drawing the line against unfair school closings, overcrowded classes and under-resourced communities.
This fight exemplified why the American labor movement remains a vital voice for better public institutions, stronger communities and good jobs at fair wages. We look forward to working with the teachers to build on this victory for all working families.
Scroll below to see links and information about registering to vote, finding your polling place, and other important dates.
Illinois Voting Resources
In Illinois, early voting starts Monday, October 22nd and continues until Saturday, November 3rd.
But first, you must register to vote. Get registered to vote with your current name, at your current address, by 28 days before Election Day. For the November 6th, 2012 general election, you must register no later than October 9th, 2012.
(For Cook County [Chicago] residents, all voter registration forms MUST be postmarked by Tuesday, October 9th).
Illinois residents can also register in person during the “grace period” registration, which begins on October 10th and ends on October 30th.
See this helpful pamphlet from the Illinois Board of Elections which answers most questions: “Registering to Vote in Illinois.”
To register to vote in Illinois, click here to download Voter Registration Application. (Print form, fill out information — remember to include your signature — and mail the form to your county board of elections).
Indiana Online Voter Registration — voter registration deadline is Tuesday, October 9th, 2012.
October 9, 2012: First day a voter may vote an absentee-in-person at the county clerks office for the 2012 General Election
October 29, 2012: Deadline for absentee-by-mail applications to be received for the 2012 General Election
All registered voters in Indiana are eligible to vote absentee-in-person at the county election board office beginning 29 days before Election Day.
In order to vote absentee-by-mail, one of the following must apply:
Kansas Voting Resources
Tuesday, October 16: Last day to register to vote in general election
Wednesday, October 17: Advance voting begins for general election
Friday, November 2: Deadline for voters to apply for advance voting ballots to be mailed
Monday, November 5: Noon deadline to cast advance voting ballots in person in office of County Election Officer
Tuesday, November 6: General Election: Advance voting ballots must be received in office of County Election Officer by close of polls
Missouri Voting Resources
No early voting.
The 91,000 members of SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana stand proudly in support of the Chicago Teachers’ Union as we fight together for the rights of public school students everywhere to have access to quality education.
Members and staff have come out in solidarity each day of the strike, joining parents, students, teachers, brothers and sisters from other unions, and community members in telling Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Public Schools that Chicago’s teachers deserve decent wages and benefits, and ALL of Chicago’s children deserve smaller class sizes, real support services, adequate resources, and equitable funding.
“SEIU stands with the more than 26,000 teachers, clinicians and paraprofessionals in Chicago who are fighting for a better school day, adequate resources for students, teacher training and fair compensation. Chicago’s 400,000 public school students deserve a system that works. For these students to be successful, their teachers must have the resources they need to be effective,” said SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, coming out in support of the striking teachers.
We hope that with the full support of our community, the Chicago Teacher’s Union will come to a quick and fair settlement that sends students and teachers back to school with a better school day and a brighter future. Until that happens, we’ll be out on the streets every day, fighting for our teachers and students.
Learn more about how to get involved in the fight for quality public education in Chicago.
On Saturday, September 8th, 650 of SEIU HCII’s most active and fired-up members gathered in Chicago to celebrate victories, plan to overcome obstacles, and get motivated to re-elect President Barack Obama at our biggest-ever Member Leadership and Activism Assembly.
Some were veteran member leaders while others were rising stars, but all of the participants at this invitation-only event have shown that they’re ready to do whatever it takes in our union to protect our programs, win for working people, and elect lawmakers who work for us.
St. Louis University Hospital Patient Transporter and bargaining committee member Tommy Trokey came all the way from Missouri to be with his brothers and sisters.
“This was my first Leadership Assembly with our union and really my first event with members outside of my workplace. I left Chicago feeling very empowered and I’ve been sharing my experience with all of my coworkers. I can’t wait for next year’s assembly because by then SLUH workers will be able to come back and celebrate the strong first contract I know we will fight for and win with all of our SEIU brothers and sisters,” Tommy said.
Members from all of our divisions and states gave testimony to the group, bringing our brothers and sisters up to speed on our triumphs over the past year, as well as discussing the best ways to overcome the very real threats facing working families all over the United States in the coming months. See highlights from member testimonies:
Guest speakers also addressed the crowd, including our own Mary Kay Henry, President of SEIU.
“I am so blessed to be in your company today because I can’t think of a more fired up group of member leaders across this union that after that DNC is ready to hit the streets and help us win November 6th!” Mary Kay said.
Though we know that the outcome of this year’s election will have very real effects on all working families, members also shared stories of how our lawmakers have affected their lives on a more personal level. 21-year home care veteran member Sandra Wiekerson told the story of how her family lost her health care when her husband became disabled. She almost had to put a lien on her home to afford their healthcare costs. But thanks to President Obama’s health care plan, relief is coming soon.
“We’re waiting till 2014, when we’ll finally be able to get affordable health care thanks to President Barack Obama,” she said. “I’m proud to know that working people like my husband and I can finally afford the care we need—and it’s up to us to get into the fight to protect it by reelecting him,” Sandra said.
After testimonials and a series of workshops designed to teach new leaders how to organize their coworkers and their communities into giving the November election all we’ve got, member leaders piled onto 16 school buses to travel to Walmart, where we took over the store, speaking out for fair wages and respectful treatment for Walmart workers. Watch the scene as our members flood the aisles:
Members took this action in solidarity with the Organization United for Respect at Walmart [OUR Walmart].
According to their website, the people of OUR Walmart “envision a future in which our company treats us, the Associates of Walmart, with respect and dignity. We envision a world where we succeed in our careers, our company succeeds in business, our customers receive great service and value, and Walmart and Associates share all of these goals.”
It was a fiery end to a day spent working toward these goals, not just for Walmart employees, but for all working people. With more and more of our members becoming active in the union every day, next year’s Member Leadership and Activism Assembly will be even bigger and better than this year’s.