Union ‘Labor of Love’ event advocates for higher wages

The Service Employees International Union hosted an event at the Florida Capitol to advocate for bills supporting essential workers instead of hurting them.
Published: Feb. 16, 2022 at 9:57 AM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Labor of Love event was held at the Florida Capitol to celebrate essential workers, while also reminding lawmakers to do the same.

The Service Employees International Union hosted the event. Union workers from across the state were in attendance to push for bills that will help working families.

The union is speaking out against legislation including a bill that would ban cities and counties from setting minimum wages higher than the states, referred to as Senate bill 1124.

During Tuesday’s event, essential workers including bus drivers, custodians and house keepers all gathered outside the capitol, calling on lawmakers to show their love and appreciation with bills that actually support all of their hard work, and increase their wages.

“This isn’t just something that affects us as workers but also affects our families and working families throughout the state. We don’t get health insurance, we don’t have paid sick days, we don’t have different vacation days,” said Nora Dumenigo, a cabin cleaner at the Miami International airport. “So that’s what we’re here to make sure we’re fighting against.”

Rhonda Miller, a bus driver in Palm Beach County and a leading member of SEIU said the legislation does not represent the fair wages that service workers deserve and takes power away from local agencies to determine what a livable wage is for its community.

The SEIU includes more than 80,000 workers across Florida, including public employees, and healthcare support staff.

Like Miller, other participants say the bill would not benefit everyone, especially since the cost of living is not the same across the state.

“We are so grateful for what they are doing, but we need them to understand that we would like them to up the ante,” said Miller.

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