Multi-Racial Union Decries Anti-Black Violence, Calls for End to Systemic Racism


For more information:

Frank Soults, 860-471-5692; fsoults@seiu32bj.org

BOSTON – The following statement may be attributed to Roxana Rivera, Vice President of 32BJ SEIU and head of the union in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

“The day after the official memorial for Floyd George, our entire union remains outraged and heartbroken at his horrific murder at the hands of police, and we join countless Americans in calling for reforms and self-reflection to end the systemic racism that has plagued this country since its inception.

“As a union comprised of majority black and brown members, we are painfully aware of the double pandemic that is coursing through this nation – the coronavirus that weaponizes racial inequities, and the endless police violence against black men and women that has cost the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others. To compound this scourge, President Trump has further incited division with his incendiary tweets, his threat to send the military into our cities, and his disgraceful use of force for a photo op.

“This double pandemic weighs heavily in the everyday lives of our members. Many of our 20,000 janitors, security officers and other essential workers in Greater Boston and Rhode Island fear brutality at the hands of law enforcement because of their skin tone, especially as they travel to and from work at off hours. At the same time, like all essential workers, they are more vulnerable to a virus that has so far taken the lives of 130 32BJ members across the East Coast, including six here in Greater Boston.”

“The fight against racism and anti-black violence is part of our constant struggle to improve the lives of all working people. We stand with those who continue to take to the streets of Boston and beyond in protest, and we will not stop fighting until justice prevails.”

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With over 175,000 members in eleven states and Washington, D.C.—including 20,000 in Greater Boston –32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.