Skip to main content

Standing strong, fighting for worker freedoms in Louisiana

Photo: Anna Dang/ AFSCME
Standing strong, fighting for worker freedoms in Louisiana
By Anna Dang ·

BATON ROUGE, La. – Public service workers represented by AFSCME are fighting for their freedoms in Louisiana, and they made their voices heard at the legislature.

More than 100 members of AFSCME Council 17 held a rally on Thursday the Louisiana State Capitol. They spoke about their experiences at work to urge their state lawmakers to oppose seven anti-union bills: HB 523, SB 292, HB 571, HB 572, HB 712, SB 263 and SB 264.

These bills, which are being debated in the Louisiana legislative session, would severely limit or eliminate workers’ freedom to speak up for the vital services they provide to Louisiana’s communities, push for their safety on the job and advocate for the taxpayers they serve.

Valerie Nordstrom, a probation and parole officer at the Office of Juvenile Justice in Monroe, said: “I'm concerned about these bills. They are an attack on a variety of rights for public workers that will affect public safety officers like me. This legislation won’t benefit our public sector employees, and it will negatively impact our communities.”

Zuri McCormick, a library associate for the City of New Orleans Public Library, said: “These bills are really attacking the heart and the soul of Louisianans. … If they take away our voice and our freedom, we will lose engineers, we will lose sanitation workers. And so that's why I'm speaking out.”

Legislation that limits the freedoms of public service workers will only exacerbate the chronic labor shortage and make it harder for state and local government agencies to serve the people. Public service workers provide the vital services such as caring for our sick, keeping our communities clean, and being on the front lines of crisis response.

When workers speak up for these services — whether it is nurses negotiating for better patient-to-staff ratios that keep us all healthy or municipal employees bargaining for the equipment they need to keep us all safe — they strengthen Louisiana’s communities.

Related Posts