I think every shop steward should be training someone else and that person can be training someone else too.

~ Maurice Thomas, 32BJ Member, DC/VA/MD

Kelly Mahaffey


Kelly Mehaffey, a cleaner at a commercial office building in Wilmington, is an active member of 32BJ SEIU. When she’s not busy keeping her building tidy and orderly, she serves on the bargaining committee and has been a brigadier. “32BJ is important to me because being a member gives me a chance to fight for workers’ rights and have a voice on the job,” said Kelly. “Before I joined the union I made $7.50 per hour. Now I make $9.60 and I have good benefits.”

In fact, the benefits Kelly won in her contract have been life changing. “My union benefits have allowed me to regain custody of my 17-year-old son. Without the legal fund I would not have been able to afford the legal fees,” said Kelly. As a brigadier, Kelly has joined other 32BJ members in their fight for worker justice. “We have to fight together to protect each other and fight for justice. No matter where we are, we must defend and protect our benefits, added Kelly. “If we don’t fight together, non-union cleaning contractors would be happy to take over our buildings and leave us with nothing.”


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