Laphonza Butler is the President of SEIU ULTCW – the United Long Term Care Workers’ Union, which represents 180,000 in-home caregivers and nursing home workers across California.
Butler’s passion for advocating and leading on behalf of workers and those they serve is grounded in her own personal journey. Growing up in a household where her mom had multiple jobs as a security guard, a home care provider, and mother of three providing for her family on multiple low wage jobs, she experienced first-hand the challenges faced by workers and their families who did not have a voice on the job or the power of a union to improve their conditions. Early on, Butler sought a path that would ensure she contributed to bringing back the values of dignity and respect for workers and to be an architect of the changes needed to promote social and economic justice for all workers.
Over the years, Butler has served in numerous leadership roles on behalf of workers whether organizing thousands of healthcare workers at John’s Hopkins Hospital in Maryland; organizing multi-national corporations and collective bargaining agreements for tens of thousands of security officers and janitors as SEIU’s Property Services division director or uniting 25,000 foodservice workers in her role as Secretary Treasurer of Service Workers United. Most recently, she has been elected to serve as a Vice President of the SEIU international executive board.
A proud native of the south, Butler is a graduate of Jackson State University, in Jackson, MS.