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For Immediate Release

Friday, January 19, 2018

Saunders: Working People Continue to Come Together Despite Relentless Attacks

AFSCME statement in response to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report on the 2017 union membership rate, which held steady from 2016

Washington, DC — 

AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders issued the following statement in response to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report on the 2017 union membership rate, which held steady from 2016:

“Despite relentless, dishonest attacks from wealthy special interests, working people continue to come together for a voice on the job and a seat at the table. Union membership held steady in 2017, a testament to the resilience of people fighting strong headwinds to continue organizing even in a hostile environment.

“It’s no surprise that they value unions – as the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual report shows, union workers earn considerably more on average than their non-union peers. Women and communities of color, for whom unions have historically been a pathway to the middle class, enjoy an even greater pay advantage when they join unions.

“Now, corporate CEOs and other billionaires are trying to use the courts to rig the system even more in their favor, chipping away further at the rights of working people. A Supreme Court case called Janus v. AFSCME, which will be decided this year, threatens the freedom of public service workers to negotiate a fair return for the value they add to their communities.

“No matter what happens, public service workers and all working people will continue to build power in numbers and stick together in strong unions.”

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