From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi: Employers Must Protect Family Health Care Benefits
for San Francisco’s Janitors

August 4, 2003

San Francisco, CA - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement today at a rally organized by SEIU Local 1877 to protect family health care benefits for 3,000 San Francisco janitors:

“Thank you to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1877 for inviting me to be a part of today's event. Although I cannot be here with you in person, I join SEIU and its members - the janitors who work hard every day and night to give us clean and productive workplaces - in their struggle to secure health care for themselves and their families. These workers will not accept any reduction in their health care benefits, and I stand firmly with them.

“These men and women are part of the growing health care crisis in America. More than 41 million people in this county do not have health insurance, and many who have health insurance fear losing it or worry about rising costs. Further, nearly 9 million children are growing up without quality health care because they lack health insurance. The vast majority of these children have working parents who earn too much for public assistance and too little for private health care. They work hard to provide for their families, and still their kids are at risk.

“As we face this growing health care crisis, we must move forward in ensuring that San Francisco’s janitors and other working families have the health security they deserve, not take a step back by cutting family health benefits as the employers propose.

“If we are going to solve this crisis no one can sit on the sidelines - not workers, not government, and not the private sector. Earlier this year, employers in Silicon Valley stepped up to the plate and provided health security for those who cleaned their offices. Today I call on these San Francisco employers to sit down at the negotiating table and do what is right and responsible - provide a contract settlement that protects janitors’ health insurance and meets the rising cost of living.

“Democrats in Congress and I will continue fighting on the federal level to ensure health security for working families. But we are powerless without your voice. Our inside maneuvering must be accompanied by outside mobilization. You are the cavalry! And we need you to charge!”




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