Press Release from SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania
Friday, Sept. 15, 2017
Nearly 500 healthcare workers, area residents, and community allies converged at U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker’s Lancaster office on Friday to demand he represent their interests in Washington.
LANCASTER, PA – Hundreds of healthcare workers from across Pennsylvania were joined by community members and grassroots organizational allies on Friday as they took to the streets of Lancaster to demand U.S. Representative Lloyd Smucker support the interests of working families over corporations, big banks, and industrial polluters.
Those attending the action cited protecting middle-class jobs and workers’ rights to organize, justice for America’s “Dreamers” (young people who have received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA status), protecting the Affordable Care Act, and expanding access to healthcare as key issues for working women and men of Pennsylvania.
“Being a part of a union is a protection against big business,” said Stephanie Cole, a Lancaster-area Certified Nursing Assistant and member of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania. “So I would like to tell Congressman Smucker that attacking unions and our right to organize is wrong, and as his constituents we demand he stand up for US, not the corporations.”
Congressman Smucker has a long track record of sponsoring and supporting anti-worker and anti-union legislation. As a state senator, he cosponsored so-called “right-to-work” legislation and voted for a “paycheck protection” bill. Both are notorious right wing-sponsored pieces of legislation, often ghostwritten for local legislators by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC); a heavily conservative group that authors “model legislation” on behalf of corporations and right-wing billionaires.
Smucker has continued his anti-union crusade as a U.S. Congressman, cosponsoring HR 2629, a bill that would make it harder for workers to form unions, and HR 3441, the “Save Local Businesses Act” which rolls back the joint employer standard under the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
More recently, he supported the Trump Administration’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and voted in favor of stripping 24 million Americans of their health insurance while gutting Medicaid, the program that provides care for our most vulnerable -including millions of seniors and children.
“We live in the richest nation in the history of the world,” said Andrea Lamour-Harrington, a homecare worker from Pittsburgh. “And I work 50 hours a week as a healthcare worker. So why in the world am I standing here having to beg our elected leaders to not kill me.”
The Congressman also supports President Trump’s plan to end DACA and is threatening to expel nearly 800,000 young people from our country. Flip-flopping on his promise he made as a State Senator to immigrant families in Pennsylvania.
“Smucker’s refusal to defend DACA is a betrayal of the promise he made to thousands of young people covered under the DACA program while state senator,” said Adanjesus Marin, director of Make the Road PA. “While he may have forgotten his promises, we will never forget his betrayal.”
Pennsylvania’s healthcare workers will continue to stand up for immigrant justice and workers’ rights, and advocate for access to healthcare for all.
“When I look out at this crowd, I see hope! I see strength! I see a future different from the one Mr. Smucker has planned for us,” Cole told rally goers. “When I look out at this crowd, I know that we will fight, and we will win!”
Contact: James Myers, Member Communicator; 215-479-2213; firstname.lastname@example.org.
About SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania
SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania is the state’s largest and fastest-growing union of nurses and healthcare workers, uniting nearly 45,000 nurses, professional and technical employees, direct care workers, and service employees in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home and community-based services, and state facilities across the Commonwealth. Together, we work to protect patient care, expand access to quality health care for all, and to lives of healthcare workers. We accomplish these goals by organizing non-union healthcare workers, driving industry standards in our contracts and fighting for legislation that affects health care in our state. SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania is affiliated with SEIU Healthcare, part of the Service Employees International Union which represents 2.1 million working people in health care, public services, and property services.