1199SEIU President George Gresham will oversee the union for another three years.
At the Sheraton Hotel in New York City, Gresham was re-elected and sworn in to serve another three-year term. Gresham has served as union president since 2007. Along with his executive board and 4,000-plus delegates, Gresham represents 450,000 union constituents.
“I want to thank my sisters and brothers in 1199SEIU for their faith in our union, and in our dedicated leadership team,” Gresham said in a statement. “As we move forward, our concerns will focus, as they always have, on quality, affordable care for all Americans. Much of the polling over the past year shows the public is extremely concerned about the future of health care for themselves and their families. We will not sit idly by while some elected officials try to strip tens of thousands of hardworking Americans of the health care they deserve. Our caregivers know the health care system from a frontline perspective, and we will continue fighting to make sure their voices are heard.”
“President Gresham’s re-election was a clear mandate from our members that he is the leader for such a time as this,” said Gabby Seay, political director for 1199SEIU, in a statement. “Workers across the country are looking for leaders that will fight not just for fair contracts and good wages, but for entire communities to thrive and grow. And that is just not the legacy of 1199, but the future of labor.”
During the ceremony, another 1199SEIU higher-up was re-elected. Constituents voted for Maria Castaneda to continue as secretary-treasurer where she’s served since 2007.
According to 1199 officials, Castaneda is the highest-ranking Asian-American in the labor movement.
“My thanks to the union membership and staff for their continuing faith in me,” stated Castaneda. “Our 1199 delegates are the heart and soul of the union. They are the leaders in our workplace and communities advocating for quality health care, good jobs, social justice and a healthy planet. They also are an important point of contact for our members in the shops, problem-solving, making sure workers are treated fairly, and helping negotiate and enforce strong contracts. As the health care industry evolves, our delegates make sure our jobs and standards aren’t threatened by unscrupulous bosses.”