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Over 30,000 Workers at SEIU Local 500 and 32BJ SEIU Endorse Tom Perez for Governor

March 14, 2022

SILVER SPRING, MD – Maryland gubernatorial candidate and former Maryland and U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez today announced that he received the support of 32BJ SEIU and SEIU Local 500.

These major unions collectively represent over 30,000 essential education support personnel and property services workers in Maryland.

“When unions succeed, Maryland succeeds and as governor, I’ll always ensure that workers have a seat at the table as we work together to create a Maryland where no one working a full-time job lives in poverty, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, where families can access high-quality healthcare, and where workers are able to organize and collectively bargain,” Tom Perez said. “I’ve spent my entire career fighting for working families and I’m honored to have the support of 32BJ SEIU and SEIU Local 500 in our campaign to bring jobs, justice, and opportunity to every community across Maryland.”

32BJ SEIU and SEIU Local 500 are the latest labor organizations to endorse the Perez-Sneed ticket, joining other major unions like American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Communications Workers of America (CWA), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and more.

In total, these unions represent over 120,000 households throughout Maryland.

“As a former Labor Secretary under President Obama and for the state of Maryland, Tom Perez has an unmatched track record of protecting immigrants and helping workers win back wages and jobs when they were wronged,” said Jaime Contreras, Executive Vice President of 32BJ SEIU, the nation’s largest property services workers union. “What sets Tom Perez apart is that he experienced the struggles facing immigrant families and devoted 35 years to protecting the civil rights of minority communities and ensuring working-class families get their fair share. We will do whatever it takes to make the difference in this campaign because the difference he’s made in people’s lives cannot be overstated.”

With more than 175,000 members in 11 states, including over 10,000 in Maryland among the 20,000 in the D.C. Area and Baltimore, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.

“On behalf of the thousands of SEIU Local 500 members, we’re thrilled to endorse Tom Perez to be Maryland’s next governor. His years of public service at the county, state, and federal levels has prepared him to be an excellent governor on day one!” said Pia Morrison, President of SEIU Local 500, the largest SEIU local in the state. “Tom Perez and Shannon Sneed have a long history of standing with unions and working families and there is no clearer example of a more worker-friendly team. From championing Paid Family and Medical Leave, to fighting to increase wages for woefully underpaid public school support professionals, Tom has stood alongside our members time after time and we’re proud to stand alongside him now.”

As the fastest growing education union in the region, SEIU Local 500 represents over 20,000 members who work at colleges, universities, public schools, child care providers and nonprofits across Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Throughout his career in public service, Tom Perez has developed significant experience taking on big fights and winning for working families. As Secretary of Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, he implemented the nation’s first statewide living wage law, fought corporate wage theft, and rebuilt the agency to protect homeowners across the state facing foreclosure and fraud, making the state a national bellwether for accountability early in the housing crisis.

During his tenure as U.S. Labor Secretary in the Obama administration, Perez enforced laws protecting workers on the job, advocated for nationwide paid sick and family leave, and created more than 125,000 apprenticeship opportunities. Perez fought for fairer wages, spearheading efforts to protect workers’ retirement savings and to ensure overtime protections. He also helped resolve a massive six-week Verizon strike involving over 37,000 employees. They reached an agreement that included protections and benefits for Verizon’s retail workers.

For more information about the Perez-Sneed campaign, please visit tomperez.com.