December 22, 2011
This year-end message is from Pres. Gerald W. McEntee and Sec.-Treas. Lee Saunders.
There can be no doubt: 2011 was a pivotal year for the working middle class. It began with the scapegoating of public service workers for the country’s economic woes, despite the fact that our members were suffering pay cuts, furloughs, layoffs, health insurance premium increases and more. This year continued with unprecedented attacks on our right to bargain collectively.
But by year’s end, we managed to turn the tide. In coalition with students, seniors, civil rights groups, and other community organizations, labor focused the spotlight on the politicians who have been willing – even eager – to protect the richest one percent of Americans at the expense of working families.
AFSCME members like you made the difference. Please watch our video to see what kind of year it has been, and sign up to continue the fight:
- In Wisconsin, AFSCME members helped light a spark, fighting an all-out attack on collective bargaining that has led to more than half a million people signing a petition to recall the governor of that state.
- From there, it spread to Iowa, where you fought the closure of state employment offices.
- It carried to New York City, where you spoke out against cuts to child care, and to Puerto Rico, where you helped restore collective bargaining for thousands of public employees.
- By the time it reached Ohio, the historic battle over collective bargaining rights and the fight for the American worker was ablaze, and the people there vetoed the anti-union bill at the ballot box last month.
The struggle continues, and in 2012 we are not backing down. Public service workers will continue to face tough times and serious budget cuts, but we have proven what we can do when we raise our voices together.