For Immediate Release: May 17, 2022
Contact: SEIU PA State Council: Reesa.Kossoff@seiupa.org
Harrisburg — In response to right-wing extremist, Doug Mastriano’s victory in the Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial primary, the leaders of the SEIU Pennsylvania State Council issued the following statement:
“The stakes of the November gubernatorial election could not be higher for SEIU members in Pennsylvania. In Doug Mastriano, the Republican Party has nominated the most extreme candidate ever to appear on the ballot in our commonwealth. Mastriano is an absolute non-starter for those of us who care about workers’ rights, justice, sustaining a functional democracy or state government,” said Steve Catanese, President of SEIU Local 668.
As state senator, Mastriano:
Led the charge to deny workers their most basic protections at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic
Amplified the voices of QAnon conspiracy theorists and white supremacists
Crusaded to overturn the results of the 2020 election and silence the voices of millions of Pennsylvanians
“If right-wing Mastriano wins the General Election, he won’t hesitate to sign a right-to-work law, ending our union rights as we know them. Mastriano was also one of only a handful of PA Senators to vote to keep Pennsylvania’s minimum wage at an embarrassing, unsustainable $7.25 an hour,” said Gabe Morgan, President of the SEIU Pennsylvania State Council and Vice President of SEIU Local 32BJ.
“The dangers are real, but SEIU members can make all the difference in Pennsylvania. We are 80,000 strong — and 80,000 was the difference in the last presidential election,” said David Melman, Manager of the Pennsylvania Joint Board of Workers United.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Josh Shapiro has proven himself as a pro-worker champion. He’s held companies accountable when they rip off their workers. Last year, he prosecuted the largest Davis-Bacon prevailing wage case in American history: winning more than $20 million in restitution for Pennsylvania workers.
“Josh went after bosses who broke the law, like nursing homes administrators who falsified staffing records and left staff and residents in unsafe conditions. Josh stood with caregivers and demanded safe staffing standards. He took on UPMC and won. By securing an agreement between UPMC and Highmark he guaranteed 1.9 million Pennsylvanians their right to choose their own doctors and hospitals,” said Matt Yarnell, Secretary Treasurer of the State Council and President of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania. “The choice for SEIU members couldn’t be clearer — and we will be the difference.”
SEIU also extended congratulations to endorsed Lt. Gov candidate Austin Davis on his historic victory. As the son of a union bus driver, Davis is an embodiment of the role organized labor plays in leveling the playing field for working families.
Securing the future for 80,000 SEIU members and expanding union rights for all Pennsylvanians who want to join or form a union is SEIU’s top political priority in 2022. This only happens by electing Josh Shapiro and Austin Davis in November.