June 28, 2010
President Gerald W. McEntee used his keynote address at the 2010 AFSCME Convention to demand that Congress pass a critical jobs bill — and that politicians be held accountable for their promises to working people.
“We need a new jobs bill that continues to fund our economic recovery. That jobs bill exists right now in Congress. It includes resources to help states avoid massive layoffs. Unfortunately, this bill is on life support. Just last week, Senate Republicans blocked the bill for the second time. They again decided to play politics with our lives and our jobs."
McEntee also pointed to the recent Senate runoff in Arkansas where AFSCME’s accountability campaign put the incumbent “on the ropes and fighting for her political life.”
“We support the politicians who support working families. But these politicians, whether they are Democrats or Republicans, must understand: We are holding you accountable. You are not above the people who elected you. And if you turn on us you will pay the price!”
McEntee also talked about the hard work of AFSCME members around the country, calling them “unsung heroes from communities across this nation.” Among those were:
- Ralph Miller, president of Los Angeles County Probation Officers Union, Local 685, who helped a young gang member turn her life around to become a medical assistant at the University of California, Los Angeles;
- Theresa Bach, president of Missouri Council 72, Local 2093, for not only working two jobs, but also dedicating herself to helping other home care workers join the union;
- Jean Thompson of Pennsylvania Council 13, Local 2582, who worked with the community food bank in Fayette County to help the sisters and brothers of her union get through a very tough period; and
- AFSCME members from across the nation who traveled to Haiti after the tragic earthquake to help rescue victims and rebuild.
Read more in this press release, and watch excerpts from Pres. McEntee's keynote address: