8:04 AM Eastern - Tuesday, January 14, 2014

SEIU Stands in Solidarity with Puerto Rico's Teachers #default

On behalf of the Service Employees International Union's 2.1 million members and SEIU Local 1996, the Puerto Rican Workers Union (SPT) who represents thousands of workers in the public school system, I offer our solidarity to all Puerto Rico Department of Education teachers who are participating in a two-day strike beginning on Tuesday, January 14.

The fight against austerity unites us and we support the efforts of all those who are working for education and economic justice.

A recent overhaul of the Puerto Rico Teachers Pension Fund will only further cripple an already dire financial crisis and threatens to create a new class of poor people on the island. Tough austerity measures like these will force workers to accept lower pay, diminished healthcare benefits and higher retirement ages.

Although our members are not directly involved in these strike actions, they are committed to not crossing picket lines due to safety reasons.

We believe we are all in this together when it comes to addressing the increasing gap between the rich and poor in Puerto Rico and across North America.That's why we stand with all workers fighting to raise wages and to ensure everyone pays their fair share in taxes so we can invest in education and the good jobs our communities need.

SEIU represents 2.1 million workers and has two affiliate locals on the island: 1996/SPT (Sindicato Puertorriqueño de Trabajadores) and 1199/UGT (Union General de Trabajadores).

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