Christine Boardman is the President of Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 73, in Chicago. With more than 2.2 million members, SEIU is one of the fastest growing and most diverse unions in North America. As President, Boardman has taken bold action to launch innovative campaigns that will bring new hope and opportunity to workers in today’s global economy.
She was married to Bill Boardman.
Revolutionary Workers Headquarters
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- Dave taught me a lot of things. To start with, it was because of him that I had the confidence to work as a union carpenter. The first time I met him, a large crew of leftists were building out a movement office in Chicago. He made me a pair of stilts. Shortly after that my mom and I started making routine visits to the south side. And around 1979 we moved in with him. I was about 8.
- He had me paint my room. He and Bill Boardman worked with me to build a bookshelf for my 4th grade class. They taught me basic tool use. And when I graduated from high school, they offered to have me apprentice with them rather than head off to college. I took the path I was meant to take, but I came back to construction ten years later.
- When my mom went to China in 1979, Dave got me into school and took care of me for a month. While I was happy to eat pizza for 30 days, Bill and Christine Boardman made sure I got an occasional well-balanced meal. Our time together had its kinks, but we worked them out. But I would be remiss if I didn’t tell the story of the fork. I know he told it quite a few times. Shortly after my mom left on her trip, Dave was instructing me in proper table etiquette. I have wonderful table manners.
- I like to think that I am street-smart, but the fact is when I moved to South Chicago, a mainly working class Chicano 'hood, I was a pretty easy target. A naïve, super-friendly 8-year-old white girl could find a lot of trouble. By the time we left 87th and Burnham, I was 12. And I know that Dave had laid down the law to the neighborhood boys.
On July 16, 2011 the Executive Board of Local 73 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) voted unanimously that anti-war protesters had the right to march against the NATO/G8 summit being held in Chicago in May of 2012.
Joe Iosbaker, Executive Board member, proposed the resolution, explaining, “Mayor Rahm Emanuel will be hosting this convention of the war makers who have caused so many deaths and the financial ministers responsible for the world economic crisis.” Holding up the front page of the Chicago Sun Times from the day before, Iosbaker showed the workers the front page headline, “Chaos Control.” “We’re planning a permitted march and Superintendent of Police McCarthy is threatening us in the paper that he’ll respond to protests with mass arrests. We won’t be intimidated,” said Iosbaker.
President Christine Boardman and Secretary Treasurer Matt Brandon criticized Mayor Emanuel for moving to lay off these workers without negotiating with the unions. Further, Brandon had presented to the Mayor proposals for savings of $10 million without layoffs. These were ignored by Emanuel.
Against NATO Summit
According to an April 2012 press release from Lauren Love, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, and Eric Ruder, Coalition Against NATO/G8, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and other community and labor leaders will gather on Thursday, April 19, at 11:15 am on the 2nd floor of City Hall to announce their plans to march in opposition to NATO. The march will take place on Sunday, May 20, which is the first day of the NATO summit, and is being organized by the Coalition Against NATO/G8 War and Poverty Agenda (CANG8).
Standing with Rev. Jackson to announce their support for the march and People’s Summit will be Occupy Chicago; the Chicago Teachers Union; the National Nurses United; and members of the Service Employees International Union.
“Our world has become jilted by war and weapons,” said Rev. Jackson. “There is simply too much violence, too much concentrated wealth and too much poverty. I hope on May 20 there will be a large demonstration with global participation. It’s time we go in a different direction. I am urging us to shift our priorities. This demonstration is designed to appeal to the leaders of the world to choose to depend less on military intervention and more on negotiations to try to heal these societies ravished by poverty and internal strife.”
CANG8 organizers are pleased to be joined in their efforts by many other community and labor leaders in addition to Rev. Jackson. “ “This march will take place at a crucial moment in NATO’s war on Afghanistan as a majority of Americans have now turned against further U.S. involvement there,” said Joe Iosbaker, a CANG8 organizer.
Many nurses from the Chicago area and beyond have been active in the Occupy movement and in challenging budgets that prioritize war spending over public health. “As an ER nurse, I see the suffering of the 99 percent firsthand,” said Dennis Kosuth, a registered nurse at Stroger Cook County Hospital. “The global 1 percent and the G8 are calling for austerity cuts to vital social services while draining trillions of our tax dollars into the NATO war machine. Our tax dollars should be going into our public schools, healthcare services, libraries, public transportation—back to the people of Main Street. Registered Nurses of the National Nurses United will be marching alongside CANG8 this May to protest NATO and to call for a Robin Hood Tax on the G8 global 1 percent.”
Christine Boardman is the president of Service Employees International Union Local 73, which represents 25,000 public employees in Illinois and Indiana, and she is urging union members and working people to attend the protest in large numbers. “G8 policies have supported so-called ‘free trade agreements,’ which have caused the loss of millions of jobs,” said Boardman. “Instead of funding for war and supporting ‘free trade’ for corporations, which means ‘slave trade’ for workers, it must become our national priority to keep good jobs here and to fund services for our communities.”
Other noted speakers at the May 20 march and the People’s Summit include Malalai Joya, former Afghan member of Parliament and internationally renowned opponent of NATO’s occupation of Afghanistan; Reiner Braun, International Coordinating Committee of the European No to NATO network; Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence; Malik Mujahid, Muslim Peace Coalition; Medea Benjamin, Code Pink; and Col. Ann Wright (ret.), antiwar activist.
In addition to specifying Jesse Jackson, , speakers will now include, along with those announced earlier: Leah Bolger, head of Veterans for Peace, who was recently tried for “disrupting” the so-called SuperCommittee in Congress; Carlos Montes, who was targeted by an FBI raid in Los Angeles; Kari Fulton, of the Environmental Justice movement; and Larry Holmes, of International Action Center.
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- [http://www.fightbacknews.org/2011/7/18/seiu-local-73-supports-right-protest-natog8 FB News, SEIU Local 73 supports right to protest NATO/G8 By staff | July 18, 2011]
- Rev. Jesse Jackson Announces His Support for anti-NATO Protest in Chicago