Becky Williams is a Union activist and the current president of SEIU District 1199, which represents more than 35,000 health care, social service and public sector workers across Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Williams is the first woman president of SEIU District 1199.
Early Life and Union Career
Williams is originally from Canton, Ohio. She ascribes her interest in union activity to her family’s history, saying “I will never forget what life was like as a working mother of four without the protection of a union.”
In 1991 after organizing her fellow co-workers to join the union, she became an official member of SEIU District 1199. The following year, she started as a union organizer. In addition to being the first woman president of SEIU District 1199, she is also the only District 1199 president who has worked her way up from union member to president.
In 2008, Williams was elected to serve as President of District 1199. In addition, ten newly elected officers were also sworn in at this time.
As president, Williams used her political influence to encourage the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2009. She was criticized for this by Rush Limbaugh, who called her a “union thug.” In 2010, Williams and the union promoted the "Skip A Space" campaign, opposing the re-election of Democratic congressman Zack Space, who had voted against the PPACA. Space was defeated by Republican Bob Gibbs.
In 2011, the Ohio Legislature passed Senate Bill 5, a controversial law limiting collective bargaining agreements for public sector employees. Williams was a leading voice in speaking out against the issue. This bill was defeated in a referendum on the November 2011 ballot by a 22-point margin.
Williams serves as a Vice President on the SEIU International Executive Board and is a member of International Executive Board Health Care Council, the Midwest Area Leadership Council, and the International Member Strength Committee. In Ohio, Williams is a member of the NAACP, the League of Women Voters, and National Organization for Women.
- "SEIU District 1199 Elects Becky Williams as Union President". Huntington News. Retrieved February 18, 2012.
- "SEIU District 1199 Elects Becky Williams as Union President". Huntington News. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
- "Union Leadership". SEIU District 1199. Retrieved February 19, 2012.
- "SEIU District 1199 Elects Becky Williams as Union President". Huntington News. Retrieved February 19, 2012.
- "Rush Limbaugh Attacks SEIU District 1199 President Becky Williams". The Rush Limbaugh Show. Retrieved February 19, 2012.
- Isenstdat, Alex. "Labor Continues to Hammer Space". Politico. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
- "Representative to Congress: November 2, 2010". Jon Husted, Ohio Secretary of State. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
- "Becky Williams, President SEIU 1199 Speaks Out at Labor Press Conference". Progress Ohio. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
- Russo, John. "How Obama Can Win Ohio Again". New York Times. 2011-11-10. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
- Johnson, Alan (January 27, 2012). "Becky Williams elected to national SEIU office". The Dispatch. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
- Johnson, Alan (January 27, 2012). "Becky Williams elected to national SEIU office". The Dispatch. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
- "Union Leadership". SEIU District 1199. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
- "Union Leadership". SEIU District 1199. Retrieved February 20, 2012.