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The SEIU changed my life | The Nation

Email Address: 
lvillafana.seiumlp@gmail.com

It is clear that Mr. Fraser hasn't walked in the shoes of millions of members of SEIU workers who faithfully serve people in communities across America and other parts of the world. I am one of these members—and am proud of it.

In the late '70s I was a stay-at-home mom, and after a divorce I was struggling to raise my children without child support or a job. I found myself in the job market rife with age discrimination, no respect for workers’ rights, low wages, long work hours without overtime pay and no access to health insurance. But I needed to support my two sons, so I had no other choice.

Thankfully, I had the opportunity to get a job—a union job—with members represented by the Service Employees International Union.

From day one, my life was changed. I earned a livable wage and was able to get family health insurance. I was also able to set a schedule so I could be home to help my kids with homework, have dinner together, take them to sports practice. I could afford to buy them new clothes when they returned to school in the fall. And I was respected and valued as a human being.

I learned the meaning of the word “union” with SEIU in my seventeen years of as a member and a public service worker in San Diego County, California. We are a global family. Union presidents come and go, but the members stay strong. I hope that in the future your articles are more balanced and include the stories of the millions of workers like me in SEIU as well as the role unions play in changing workers’ lives and communities.

A retired SEIU member, Local 221 Retired Medi-Cal Eligibility Officer,