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Resolutions & Amendments

40th International Convention - Los Angeles, CA (2012)


Resolution No. 71
40th International Convention
Los Angeles Convention Center
June 18 - 22, 2012
Los Angeles, CA


            We are humbled and inspired by the heroic efforts of our members and allies in Wisconsin.  The assault on workers’ rights began in Wisconsin, where AFSCME was born.  Governor Scott Walker hoped to decimate public employee collective bargaining quickly and quietly.  He underestimated the courage of Wisconsin working men and women; and


            Walker’s attempt ignited the most massive protests our country has seen in decades.  Using questionable tactics, Walker’s legislation was signed in law in March 2011.  The protests increased and the recall effort began. Walker raised over $30 million dollars to Barrett’s $4 million, and outside groups spent $25 on his behalf for every $1 spent on Barrett.  This election showed us for the first time the full effect of Citizens United; and


            Wisconsin united AFSCME and the entire labor movement as never before. AFSCME began to rebuild immediately.  Walker’s crude attempt to destroy us by ending dues deduction was answered immediately with a campaign to re-sign members.  Portions of the law remain under legal challenge; and


            Labor’s get-out-the-vote effort during the recall was the largest in Wisconsin history.  Thousands of new voters were registered and voting increased dramatically over 2010 levels.  There were over 36,000 volunteers on the ground.  More than one million citizens signed recall petitions. The International Union and affiliates provided robust support to our Wisconsin brothers and sisters; and


            Outspending labor at every turn, Walker survived the recall.  His majority in the Wisconsin Senate did not.  What is surprising is how not only the right-wing media, but the press as a whole, have reported and opined in piece after piece that this was a heavy blow to labor; and


            We lost collective bargaining rights in New Mexico – and we were there until those rights were restored.  We lost collective bargaining rights in Kentucky, Missouri and Puerto Rico.  We fought until those rights were regained.  The rights of AFSCME members were threatened in Ohio, but, inspired by Wisconsin, public employees in Ohio crushed the attempt. 


            We will not back down.  We are inspired by our members and allies in Wisconsin.  AFSCME will continue its commitment to Wisconsin, not only in the long-term struggle to regain full collective bargaining rights, but also in the work of locals and councils to rebuild membership and fight for their members’ rights.  We will continue our commitment in Indiana and Michigan and Oklahoma, indeed anywhere our hard-won rights are being taken away; and


            We are united in the belief that the right to collective bargaining is a fundamental right in a democracy and collective bargaining and union representation are the way to the American Dream.  We will defend these rights in every state.  We reaffirm our commitment to devoting all the resources necessary to win this fight.

SUBMITTED BY:     International Executive Board