Thursday, September 24, 2009
Health Care Reform Rally, II
After driving past the Aetna headquarters to scout the location for yesterday's rally (see previous blog post) I went looking for a place to park my truck, and spotted another demonstration dealing with health care, just a couple blocks away. Once I'd managed to park, I walked back and talked with the demonstrators.
They are members of Local 1199, SEIU (Service Empolyees International Union). They told me they are health care workers who deal primarily with disadvantaged and disabled clients and are employed by two different companies. The firms pay them $11 to $12 an hour.
The union was out on a two day strike because their employers are demanding a cutback in both their wages and their benefits, including health care. One of them pointed out that at those wages none of them could possibly afford a private health care plan.
They had been out picketing, marching, and chanting since 6:45 AM. I asked if they knew about the health care reform rally scheduled for 3:30 PM around the corner and was told they'd be marching straight over there in a few minutes, so I waited and then went along with them.