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Statement on President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address

SEIU President Mary Kay Henry: "President Obama showed incredible vision and leadership tonight by calling for a raise in the federal minimum wage, as one way to extend a hand to lift up working people. This would have an enormous impact on workers, many of whom are forced to string together 2-3 jobs to barely afford the necessities of life."

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After President Obama delivered his State of the Union address, Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), issued the following statement:

"In his State of the Union address tonight, President Obama delivered a bold, commonsense blueprint for our nation to deliver fully on its promise of opportunity for all working people. President Obama offered real ideas for building a flourishing middle class, where our country does better because everyone is doing better.

"President Obama showed incredible vision and leadership tonight by calling for a raise in the federal minimum wage, as one way to extend a hand to lift up working people. This would have an enormous impact on workers, many of whom are forced to string together 2-3 jobs to barely afford the necessities of life. Congress should work with President Obama to increase the minimum wage now. Just as an increased minimum wage stands to lift up millions of families, workers must also be able to form unions to improve their lives.  

"Tonight, President Obama once again showed his commitment to commonsense reform that would bring 12 million aspiring citizens out of the shadows with a full voice in our economy. We must not let the opportunity pass for immigration reform that reflects our values, provides a fair path to citizenship, and fixes our broken system once and for all.

"With clarity and vision, President Obama made clear that investment – not destructive cuts – to vital services like healthcare and Head Start will cost jobs and set our economy back at a time when we can least afford it. We must find ways to generate revenue and close tax loopholes for corporations, so they can sufficiently invest in the country from which they reap their wealth."

With 2.1 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers—not just corporations and CEOs—benefit from today's global economy.
www.seiu.org

SOURCE Service Employees International Union

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