SEIU 1021

Purple Wednesdays in San Joaquin County


Like many of us in SEIU 1021, members in San Joaquin County have been dutifully donning purple every Wednesday for years. Since 2018, Region E Vice President  Taffie Walter has made it her mission to get members into the spirit to build camaraderie and show solidarity to management across all chapters.

“It reminds us we are unified and together in a positive way,” said Taffie. “It also shows management the union is still present even when we may not be in bargaining.”

It’s also an opportunity to reignite commitment when the union is under attack. Most recently, member information has been tracked by the so-called “Freedom Foundation,” which has been sending letters pushing union members to drop their membership in order to dismantle our strength in numbers. This out-of-state, anti-worker group is made up of billionaires who see unions as a threat to their profits.

This time, they are sending fake checks in the mail, claiming recipients can expect a real check in return for canceling their membership.

Wearing purple is a symbol of unwavering faith that the union is a gateway to prosperity for the working class. The proof is in the last San Joaquin County contract in 2022, which negotiated an 18% raise over the course of four years for county workers.

“That’s unheard of; before that, we got crumbs,” said Taffie. “Being a part of the union is a small investment for a big win. It’s investing in your future, investing in your life.” 

To add some fun to purple Wednesdays, Walter makes sure to hand out big prizes for those you take part. This time, the first-place raffle winner will take home a television at the end of the year.

“Purple Wednesdays make me happy, because its something that’s fun. It gets people engaged and starting conversations with people you never expected,” said Taffie.