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AFSCME Across America: Organizing for Power

From state to state, workers are organizing with AFSCME for a stronger voice on the job. Here are some recent victories:

From state to state, workers are organizing with AFSCME for a stronger voice on the job. Here are some recent victories:

California

Approximately 400 employees of the City of Commerce - members of the City of Commerce Employee Association (CCEA) - voted overwhelmingly to affiliate with District Council 36. Their affiliation follows a two-year period during which the two unions built a relationship that included providing technical assistance with their contract negotiations.

Delaware

One-hundred and fifty professional health care workers statewide have overwhelmingly chosen to form a union with Council 81. They join approximately 600 RNs and other state health care professionals represented by the council. Also, 16 public works employees of the town of Smyrna voted unanimously to join Council 81. This victory was achieved after AFSCME members and supporters packed the town council chambers, persuading council members to reverse their decision to fire two of those workers who led the organizing campaign. Their achievement inspired another 23 of the town's workers - including city administrators, clerical workers and police 911 dispatchers - to vote overwhelmingly for Council 81 representation. Sixteen state police officers at Delaware State University also organized with the council.

Illinois

Two-hundred and eighty-five clerical employees at Western Illinois University have won a voice at work with Council 31 through majority card check. Also joining Council 31: 170 Red Cross blood services workers employed by Peoria-based Heart of America Blood Services. Their victory took three years to achieve because the company - which runs blood drives in a three-state area - appealed the makeup of the bargaining unit. The National Labor Relations Board impounded their ballots, but the workers' vote to build a union with AFSCME - by better than a 2-1 margin - was finally recognized once a newly appointed board decided the ballots could be counted after all.

Michigan

Four Allendale Township department heads have formed a union with Council 25. The organizing drive followed the controversial firing of a 22-year planning and zoning director over a "personality conflict" that had gone on for several years. Council 25 has filed a charge against the employer for the unjust firing. Three of the seven Planning Commission members and a recording secretary resigned following the dismissal.

Minnesota

Sixty-five pharmacy and medical lab technicians employed at the Hennepin County Medical Center have joined Council 5. Also forming a union with the council: 45 Ramsey County librarians, social workers and management analysts, 39 Sodexo dining service employees who work at the Minnesota State University campus in Moorhead, and 34 administrative coordinators at clinics run by the non-profit University of Minnesota Physicians.

New Mexico

Fifty sheriff's deputies and corrections officers employed by San Miguel County voted overwhelmingly to join Council 18. Also, 10 police officers in the Town of Edgewood, near Albuquerque, joined the council through voluntary recognition.

New York

One-hundred and thirty officers of the Binghamton Police Department voted to affiliate with Council 82.

Ohio

Approximately 400 city and county workers across the state joined Council 8 in 2010. Among the victories: 140 seasonal municipal employees in Cincinnati; 115 workers at the Franklin County Clerk of Courts; 25 Willowick city employees; plus units at the city of Campbell, city of Indian Hill, Hamilton County and Medina County Housing Authority.

Pennsylvania

Eighty counselors employed at Hoffman Hall and Coleman Hall of the Community Education Centers in Philadelphia voted overwhelmingly to join Local 159 (Council 33). Fifty-five employees of The Cedars of Monroeville Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing Facility in Allegheny County recently joined Council 13, as well as 28 employees of the York Housing Authority, including maintenance mechanics, maintenance aides and janitor/laborers. Forty non-professional employees of Wayne County - including those who work in the departments of probation, domestic relations and district magistrate - joined Council 87.

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