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AFSCME’s Saunders: Current Fights Are About ‘Direction of the Country’

by Clyde Weiss  |  July 06, 2011

Sec.-Treas. Saunders
AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Lee Saunders is featured in the July 2011 issue of Governing Magazine. (Photo by David Kidd)

AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Lee Saunders discusses the fight to protect the retirement security and collective bargaining rights of public service workers in the current issue of Governing Magazine, the trade publication of state and local government managers.

“This is a bigger fight than just public sector unions,” Saunders says in the story, ‘Are the Unions Winning the Fight?’ written by Governing correspondent Alan Greenblatt. “It’s a fight about the direction of the country.”

Saunders also says efforts to cut employees’ wages and benefits, and their basic right to bargain collectively over their compensation, “is a power grab” by those who want to silence unions so “they can do what they want to do.”

In addition to this interview in Governing Magazine, Saunders has been defending the middle class, and public sector workers’ rights, in a number of public events around the country. In San Diego, California, he denounced efforts to gut the retirement security for new city workers. He fired up AFSCME members in New Haven, Connecticut, to fight city budget cuts. Saunders spoke out against budget cuts in New Jersey, including a decision to close a center housing more than 350 women with developmental disabilities. The importance of public service workers was the focus of an address in New Mexico. Also, check out Saunders’ recent column on prison privatization.

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