by Kevin Brown | January 27, 2016
PORTLAND, Ore. – The holiday weekend celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. offered AFSCME Oregon a chance to echo his call for justice, spreading the word among Portland members about the dangers posed by the Supreme Court case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association.
The Friedrichs case threatens to make it even harder for working people to negotiate for wages, benefits and public services. Members who learned about the devastating effect the case could have on their workplace and family lives, stepped up their commitment to never quit in fighting for workers’ rights.
“My husband and I are both county workers and, if this case were to pass, our lives would be devastated,” said Ramona Junta, a juvenile custody service specialist. “This is a big deal, I have to do something about this...I need to tell other people this is happening and we need to unite.”
In the week following the holiday, AFSCME Council 75 members visited homes and worksites across Multnomah County to educate and answer questions about the Friedrichs case and other issues affecting workers. They participated in a town hall with Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D- OR) and an ice cream social at an Oregon Health and Science University building.
The results proved that working together and talking with members one-on-one connects and strengthens the union. At the end of the Council 75 blitz, the activists were able to assess 1,178 members, convert 306 workers from fee payers to full members, and add 110 new PEOPLE contributors, including 43 to signed up to give at the MVP level of at least $100 a year.
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