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From New York to California, EMS Workers Uniting for Strength

by Justin Lee  |  February 07, 2012

Sam Tennison
Sam Tennison

In a national campaign to win respect for EMS workers, uniformed EMTs and paramedics from the Fire Department of New York City are joining forces with their peers in Northern California to help build a new AFSCME local for emergency medical service workers on the west coast.

Northern California EMS workers hope to join the 20,000 EMS workers nationwide, who are already united through AFSCME, to fight for issues that matter to American workers at the local, state and national levels.

"Seeing our fellow EMS workers come out here and offer their help shows what national strength and unity really means," said Sam Tennison from Rural/Metro, a medical transport service, in Santa Clara. "We've gone far too long without a real voice. Standing together as United EMS Workers/AFSCME means people just like us are here and have our backs when we call on them. That's what national strength is about.”

Jose Gonzalez
Jose Gonzalez

As part of AFSCME, the California EMS workers will join a union of 1.6 million people who deliver vital services that keep American families safe and make our communities strong.

"If we stick together, we can get the respect we deserve, and we can win on the issues that matter to us,” said Jose Gonzalez, from Local 3621, who took vacation time to help out fellow EMS workers in California. "Whether we're in New York, Indiana, or California, we are all EMS workers who deserve a unified voice in the work we do."

AFSCME has approximately 3,400 local unions and 58 councils and affiliates in 46 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.  Every local writes its own constitution, designs its own structure, elects its own officers and sets its own dues.

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