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For Immediate Release

Thursday, January 26, 2017

AFSCME Announces 2016 Membership Increase Despite Unprecedented Attacks


AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders issued the following statement on the figures released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing a decline in union membership in 2016:

“The Labor Department statistics announced today are evidence that decades of relentless attacks from right-wing politicians and corporate special interests have taken their toll, making it harder for working people to join together in a union and fight for fair wages, benefits, and protections that benefit all Americans.

“The labor movement remains one of the most effective vehicles for working people to reach the middle class, and declining union membership tracks with greater income inequality. Studies show that union density in communities across the country translates into greater opportunity and socio-economic mobility for members and non-members alike.

“AFSCME has made a commitment to getting back to organizing basics, building power at the grassroots level and hearing the unique concerns of every public service worker in one-on-one conversations. And as a result, our union has seen a net growth of nearly 12,000 members over the past year. So even in the face of an anti-labor onslaught, despite efforts to manipulate laws against working people, it’s clear that organizing works. As a union, we will never quit fighting for the respect and opportunity public service workers deserve, because public service workers never quit on our communities.”

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