Certainly. Thank you for that, Mr. Green. It is really emotional. I have had too many conversations with families, calling them and asking what the union can do for them, and hearing their stories about their mothers and sisters passing away. These were women who passed away. It is a predominantly female sector.
Sadly enough, too often their families tell me that these women were really concerned about the personal protective equipment that they weren't getting. They were concerned about the conditions in the workplace. You know, the flags were being raised for decades and for months before these women died.
Again, all of the SEIU members, and most of the frontline health care workers, were women, and women of colour, and marginalized women in marginalized communities. They were immigrants. Many of them were single mothers. They struggled before this pandemic, but they continued to go to work. In many cases, their families begged them not to go to work. They were afraid they would get sick and bring it home, but they always put their residents first. No matter what, when they were in the news, that was the number one thing. They had hearts of gold. They cared so much about their residents. These workers are those residents' families, probably 75% of the time, but when I hear the stories about them....
You know, they are women and mothers who just want the dream of having a full-time job, one job—one job—so they can raise their children as single mothers and have a living wage. They don't want to be rich. They want a living wage, with benefits, with retirement security and with paid sick time. They often ask why the care economy, which is predominantly women, is not respected and dignified in the same way our male-dominated work is. Nobody should ever go to work and not return home, or return with a bad infectious disease. The solutions are so simple.
I honour them at every opportunity I have.