Whether it's the closing of centers that care for the most vulnerable or cuts to Medicare and Social Security, our nation's nurses aren't putting up with proposed reductions in our country's health services. This May, hundreds of AFSCME nurses gathered to fight for improved conditions for nurses and patients across the country as part of National Nurses Week. These nurses are part of the 60,000 member-strong AFSCME-United Nurses of America who visited the nations capital as part of the National Nurses' Congress.
The fact is, this spending vs. taxes debate is largely meaningless. Watch our explainer video to learn about corporate tax breaks, the U.S. Government's secret subsidy program that some in Congress want to gut vital programs -- like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security -- to keep in place for their wealthy donors. Then, take action: http://www.afscme.org/stop-the-giveaways
Concerned about the quality of patient care and fair treatment on the job, University of California Patient Care Technical Workers -- members of AFSCME Local 3299 --overwhelmingly voted this week to go on strike.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed on April 4, 1968, after traveling to Memphis to support 1,300 AFSCME sanitation workers who were on strike due to dangerous working conditions, discrimination and unfair pay. On the 45th anniversary of Dr. King's death, NBC's Ann Curry spoke with two of the original strikers from AFSCME Local 1733, Martin Luther King III and AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders about the 1968 strike and the important role that labor unions continue to play in the struggle for economic and civil rights.
In 1968 sanitation workers made history in Memphis, Tennessee. Over a thousand workers went on strike to protest unfair wages, discrimination, and unsafe working conditions that took the lives of two of their own. Marching through the streets, they wore signs declaring "I Am a Man." In April, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. arrived to Memphis to support the workers and was assassinated after delivering his famous Mountaintop speech.
Conditions for sanitation workers in Memphis today are surprisingly similar to conditions in the 1960's. The city is threatening to privatize their jobs, workers are not earning a living wage, and working conditions are hazardous and unsafe.
In the midst of contract negotiations, the sanitation workers of Local 1733 continue the struggle for fairness and respect begun forty five years ago.
In this edition of Capital Download, Lee Saunders, President of AFSCME, discussed how his organization will commemorate the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, and the challenges for labor and unions.
Since the beginning of the year, AFSCME has been at the forefront of the fight to pass comprehensive immigration reform that includes a full path to citizenship for all immigrants. We've been holding rallies to mobilize our supporters, lobbying our representatives in Congress, and working with our friends and allies to do the right thing by millions of immigrant workers. To learn more visit http://www.afscme.org/immigration.
The Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter, promised to protect city services when he was elected. Six years later, he has has closed libraries and schools for working Philadelphians. Adding insult to injury, residents say, Nutter has shielded the rich while refusing to talk with city workers who have gone four years without a contract. City workers and community members are fighting back, calling on Nutter to ask more from the wealthy instead of cutting city services even more.
Coming soon to a community near you: $85 billion in cuts to vital programs that Americans rely on every day. These cuts -- known as The Sequester -- can be prevented if extremist Republicans would simply agree to end tax giveaways to the super rich and corporations.
Hundreds of AFSCME members gathered on Capitol Hill demanding that Congress protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid on February 12, 2013. The rally was part of AFSCME's 2013 Legislative Conference, a gathering where over 500 members gathered to organize and strategize at a series of workshops on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), retirement security, privatization, taxes and budgets, attacks on workers rights and immigration fairness.
As AFSCME members, it is important to reflect on our union's proud history while we focus on the road ahead. We are committed to continued growth, working within our communities and fighting for our rights. Now is the time to come together and seize the moment!
Fred Morgan, President and CEO of Oklahoma's State Chamber, admits that he can't name a single company that has moved to Oklahoma or added jobs due to the state's so-called "Right to Work" legislation.
On October 10, 2012, AFSCME President Lee Saunders spoke out on the steps of The Supreme Court to defend equal opportunity and diversity in higher education. AFSCME members and staff rallied as Justices heard oral arguments in a key affirmative action case known as Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. The Fisher Case will decide whether qualified students from diverse backgrounds should have access to educational opportunity and a fair chance to achieve their potential.
Across the country, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) public workers aren't getting a fair shake. In 30 states, we could be fired. We experience harassment and discrimination on the job. We earn less than our straight co-workers, and we don't have equal access to benefits like healthcare. LGBT and allied members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO (AFSCME) are on the frontlines of the fight for equality in the workplace and in every place. We are nurses, firefighters, correctional officers, library workers, child care providers and sanitation workers. Through our union contracts and our activism in cities and states, we are making sure LGBT public workers get a fair shot. AFSCME makes America and equality happen.
New England EMS workers wasted no time in joining their California counterparts as part of United EMS Workers-AFSCME Local 4911 — and they did it with an even bigger margin of victory. Coming on the heels of Wednesday's election in California where EMS workers in 13 counties voted in United EMS Workers-AFSCME with a 77% margin, New England EMS stepped up today with 90% margin in their election results. The coast-to-coast victories total up to 2,300 new AFSCME members in two days. "This is a great victory," said Matt Anderson, a paramedic from Brockton, Mass., "It means we'll be getting more respect for what we do, and for EMS in general it means we're on our way to making this a profession and not just a job."
AFSCME members from across the country thank outgoing Pres. Gerald W. McEntee for his 56 years of service to our union and our country.
Officers Are Sworn In
The president, secretary-treasurer and international vice presidents are sworn in during the final day of AFSCME's 40th International Convention in Los Angeles.
Rally for Public Service Workers
Waving "Respect!" signs and chanting "We're fired up, won't take it no more," thousands of AFSCME delegates rallied in MacArthur Park with their California sisters and brothers, calling attention to the fight for public service employees during AFSCME's 40th International Convention.
Building Strength Through Organizing
Despite right-wing efforts to undermine workers' solidarity by attacking collective bargaining rights, AFSCME continues to build strength through organizing. Our recent victories are told by the sisters and brothers who helped make them happen in this video shown during AFSCME's 40th International Convention in Los Angeles.
AFSCME is the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO. Our 1.6 million members provide the vital services that make America happen. AFSCME advocates for fairness in the workplace, excellence in public services and prosperity and opportunity for all working families.