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Resolutions & Amendments

33rd International Convention - Honolulu, HI (1998)

Changing to Organize

Resolution No. 23
33rd International Convention
August 24-28, 1998
Honolulu, HI


Since the 1950's, union density in the United States has dropped from 34 percent to 15 percent today, while union-busting, downsizing, contracting-out, privatization, and the abuse of temporary labor has increased dramatically; and


In the 1990's membership in AFSCME has remained flat and during the past year, though AFSCME and affiliates added more than 29,000 new public sector and health care workers, overall membership in AFSCME still declined; and


Organized labor and AFSCME has been a bulwark against inequality in the workplace and a powerful force in the struggle for social and economic justice for public sector employees and for all working people; and


The AFL-CIO has launched Union Cities, a major initiative to rebuild the labor movement from the bottom up by challenging local unions and district councils to promote organizing as the labor movement's top goal, and by aiming toward the goal of shifting at least 30 percent of resources into organizing the unorganized; and


AFSCME international has long committed over 30 percent of its resources to organizing, but the majority of AFSCME locals and district councils have not mirrored this commitment; and


Those AFSCME locals and district councils that have made a commitment to the goal of budgeting 30 percent or more of its resources to organizing, hiring full-time organizing directors, having strategic plans for targeting and organizing industries ( health care, transportation, sanitation, corrections, etc.) and possess a high percentage of organizers to service reps, have shown remarkable growth in their memberships and increased political clout in achieving social and economic justice for their members.


That AFSCME go on record to encourage and support all locals and district councils to commit to implementation of the AFL-CIO's "Changing to Organize" program and work on pledges that would have locals and districts:



That AFSCME International sponsor regional conferences in the next year for the purpose of educating and orienting those members from AFSCME locals and district councils to successfully build an organizing program that would help AFSCME achieve a goal of 75,000 new members by the year 2000.


Matthew Davenhall, President and Delegate
Rodolfo Franco, Secretary Treasurer and Delegate
AFSCME Local 304, Council 28