David Rolf is known internationally as an innovative labor leader and thinker on the future of work and labor. He was a leading architect of the historic fights to win a $15 living wage in SeaTac and Seattle, WA. He serves as an International Vice President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and as President Emeritus of SEIU 775, which represents more than 45,000 long-term care workers in the Pacific Northwest.
He has been called “the most successful union organizer of the last 15 years” by The American Prospect, which said that “No American unionist has organized as many workers, or won them raises as substantial, as Rolf.”
David writes and speaks frequently about alternative futures for U.S. worker movements, and is the author of the book Fight for Fifteen: The Right Wage for a Working America (New Press, 2016). He has been published in The American Prospect, The Nation, Aspen Journal of Ideas, Social Policy, and Spotlight on Poverty.
David is building a new labor movement, founding organizations like the Fair Work Center, Working Washington, and The Workers Lab. The Fair Work Center is a Seattle-based hub for workers to understand and exercise their legal rights, and also assists in enforcing labor law. Working Washington is a statewide organization fighting for economic justice and workers’ rights in Washington State. The California-based Workers Lab invests in projects that will create the next generation’s labor movement, building economic power for working people at a large scale while developing self-sufficient organizational revenue models.
He is also the founder and board chair of the SEIU 775 Benefits Group, which provides training, health care, and retirement benefits to Washington State’s home care workers. The Benefits Group is the largest long-term care workforce development organization in the country and the only organization providing Advanced Registered Apprenticeship training for home care workers. In addition to building career pathways for caregivers, the Benefits Group provides affordable, comprehensive health benefits and the nation’s first pension fund for home care workers.
Born and raised in Cincinnati, OH, David graduated from Bard College and joined SEIU as an organizer in 1991. He lives with his wife in Seattle.