The new officers and board members of SEIU Local 888 pledged to “defend the principles of trade unionism” during an inauguration held as the union prepares for the anti-union ruling likely to come from the U.S. Supreme Court.
“I believe in empowering members and helping raise their voices on the issues that concern them,” said newly elected President Brenda Rodrigues in her inauguration speech. Rodrigues, who ran on the Leadership for Changing Times slate, said, “I want to make it clear that without all of you stepping up as a team and helping us achieve success, I would be nothing more than a person with a dream.
“To fulfill my dream of serving our members we must work hard together ‑ as a powerful team – in these difficult times and focus on our members’ needs and the changing environment for unions,” added Rodrigues, who worked for the Brockton Public Library for 42 years.
After the ceremony, new Executive Board member Kevin Nascimento, said that “Brenda is kind of my mentor, so when she asked me to be on her slate, I gladly accepted this new adventure.” Nascimento, a Brockton library worker with a 2-month-old son, is particularly interested in family and medical leave issues.
Damali Simmonds, a Boston Water & Sewer Commission worker, said, “I saw a great opportunity when I was recruited by Brenda, because she believes in change.” Simmonds has spoken out in favor of family and parental leave for the average Boston worker, not just for management.
Kwesi Ablordeppey, who has been on the Executive Board for six years, said he supported.
Rodrigues because, “I like the way she listens. She takes advice when people tell her that something needs to be done.” Ablordeppey who works at the Holyoke Soldiers Home, said, “My biggest goal is to make sure members are treated with respect.”
Rodrigues added that, in the recent election, “the voices of the membership said it all. They wanted change.”