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Jesse Jackson & Homecare Workers Rally for a Living Wage
by Mike Rhodes (MikeRhodes [at] attbi.com)
Wednesday Mar 12th, 2003 6:19 PM
Saying they “can’t survive on $6.75" hundreds of home care workers and their allies rallied today with the Rev. Jesse Jackson to demand a living wage. At a large Noon time rally in downtown Fresno Rev. Jackson called on the county to pay these valuable workers a living wage and benefits. Referring to the threat of war in Iraq, Jackson questioned why there was so much money available for death and destruction while money to fund social needs could not be found. The theme of meeting human needs, not war resonated with the crowd of about 500.
000_jesse_jackson.jpg
JESSE JACKSON AND HOMECARE WORKERS IN FRESNO RALLY FOR A LIVING WAGE
By Mike Rhodes, Community Alliance Magazine
March 12, 2003

Saying they “can’t survive on $6.75" hundreds of home care workers and their allies rallied today with the Rev. Jesse Jackson to demand a living wage. At a large Noon time rally in downtown Fresno Rev. Jackson called on the county to pay these valuable workers a living wage and benefits. Referring to the threat of war in Iraq, Jackson questioned why there was so much money available for death and destruction while money to fund social needs could not be found. The theme of meeting human needs, not war resonated with the crowd of about 500.

After winning the election to represent home care workers in Fresno County by a 92% YES vote, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) local 250 is now negotiating a contract with the County of Fresno. In more than eight months at the bargaining table the county has refused to offer anything more than minimum wage and will not provide health care benefits. These 10,000 + home care workers in the County of Fresno that provide heath care to their clients have no health care benefits for themselves and must try to survive on $6.75 an hour. The county is losing tens of millions of dollars in state and federal matching money by refusing to put in seed money. For about 21 cents per dollar, the County could leverage a living wage and medical benefits for the workers who take care of our seniors and people with disabilities.

Fresno City Council members Cynthia Steerling and Tom Boyajian presented Rev. Jackson with a proclamation welcoming him to the City. For reasons that only they could explain, The Fresno Bee tried to make a controversy about City Council support for this proclamation. When asked about this “controversy” Rev. Jackson said “when Martin Luther King and I were in Memphis none of the City Council supported a proclamation welcoming us. We have two City Council members in Fresno presenting a proclamation welcoming me to Fresno. I think we are doing great. That is a step forward.”

The rally brought together a Labor/Community Alliance for peace, social, and economic justice. Standing together were community activists and organized labor to support a living wage for health care workers. SEIU 250 did an outstanding job, on very short notice, to organize this successful event. The issue of a fair contract for home care workers is now on everyone’s mind. The decision to bargain a contract, in good faith, is up to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors. The Community Alliance magazine encourages you to contact your supervisor and tell him/her how you feel about this issue.

To contact Supervisor Phil Larson: 2281 Tulare, Room 300, Fresno, CA 93721-2198
Phone: (559) 488-3541
Fax: (559) 488-6830
or email Jean Barlow: Jbarlow [at] fresno.ca.gov
To contact Susan Anderson:
Please call: (559) 488-3542
or Email: cbourbon [at] fresno.ca.gov

To contact Juan Arambula:
Please call: (559) 488-3663
or Email: Jarambula [at] fresno.ca.gov

To contact Judy Case:
Please call: (559) 488-3664
or Email: Dbeigi [at] fresno.ca.gov

To contact Bob Waterston:
Please call: (559) 488-3665
or Email: Kburrows [at] fresno.ca.gov

To contact SEIU Local 250 call (559) 265-4890 or visit them on the web at: http://www.seiu250.org
§Home Care workers rally for a living wage
by Mike Rhodes (MikeRhodes [at] attbi.com) Wednesday Mar 12th, 2003 6:19 PM
000_seiu_rally_2.jpg
Photo by Mike Rhodes
§Rally in Fresno
by Mike Rhodes (MikeRhodes [at] attbi.com) Wednesday Mar 12th, 2003 6:19 PM
audience4.jpg
Photo by Eduardo Stanley
000_seiu_rally_4.jpg
Photo by Mike Rhodes
000_cynthia_jesse_and_tom.jpg
Photo by Mike Rhodes
000_sal.jpg
Photo by Mike Rhodes
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Living WageSkinnerSaturday Mar 15th, 2003 7:56 AM
send complaint lettersAnn GallowaySaturday Mar 15th, 2003 7:44 AM
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