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SEIU Public Relations Records

Identifier: LR001835

Scope and Content

These mass mailings collected by the Communications Department were generated by a variety of individuals and departments (including Research and Publications). Topics include human rights and health issues, union resolutions, pensions, politics (including COPE), women (especially 925), scholarships, legislative actions, and various topics relevant to SEIU members. Document formats found within the records include correspondence, memos, articles, newsletters, and flyers.

Important Subjects: AFL-CIO Collective bargaining Collective labor agreements – Service industries Committee on Political Education (COPE) Health care Health insurance Labor Political action committees Political campaigns Service Employees International Union Service industries Women employees

Important Names: Cordtz, Richard Sweeney, John Weinlein, Anthony G. Welsh, Bob


  • 1978 - 2003
  • Majority of material found within 1983 - 1995


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


4.5 Linear Feet (4 SB, 1 MB)


The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) was founded in 1921 as a union of flat janitors. Over the years it has grown in size and scope, now comprising three divisions: healthcare, property services, and public services. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, SEIU utilized the services of media consultants Abernathy and Associates for public relations and communication work. The collection consists of materials generated by Abernathy and Associates for SEIU, as well as source materials created by other entities (e.g., clippings) used for research and reference. The manuscript and audiovisual materials cover subjects including SEIU’s history and former SEIU President John Sweeney (speeches and the New Voices Slate), healthcare (including the Beverly and Kaiser campaigns), Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, organizing, Justice for Janitors, and asbestos. Document types consist of correspondence, speeches, scholarly articles and book chapters, pamphlets, flyers, reports, and clippings. Audiovisual formats found within the collection include photographs, slides, negatives, cassettes, and DVDs, the contents of which document campaigns (including publicity spots), conventions, events, and speeches.


The folders are arranged chronologically based on the folder headings utilized by the records creator.


The Communications Department of the Service Employees International Union Records were deposited by SEIU at the Reuther Library in September, 1997. The Reuther Library serves as the official repository for SEIU.

Related Materials

SEIU District 925 Records SEIU Executive Office: John Sweeney Records, SEIU Secretary-Treasurer’s Office: Richard Cordtz Records, SEIU Research Department Records

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Alexandra A. A. Orchard on February 7, 2013.
Guide to the SEIU Public Relations Records
Processed by Alexandra A. A. Orchard.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA