Workers organize labor unions primarily to secure better wages and better working conditions.
We hold that they also organize in order to participate in the decisions which affect them at work.
One of the fundamental tenets of democratic government is the consent of the governed. Unions are an extension of that idea.
Union members are both workers and citizens.
Collective bargaining is the expression of citizenship in employment. Participation in the political life of the nation is but another aspect of that citizenship.
In the same way that unions are dedicated to improvement of the terms and conditions of employment, we are equally dedicated to exert ourselves, individually and collectively, to fulfill the promise of American life. Amidst unparalleled abundance, there should be no want. Surrounded by agricultural surpluses of all descriptions, there should be no hunger. With advanced science and medical research, sickness should not go untreated. A country that voyages into outer space can provide adequate education, protection and family preservation for all its children.
For unions, the work place and the polling place are inseparable, and the exercise of the awesome rights and responsibilities of citizenship is equally required at both.
Unions are under a solemn obligation: to represent members forcefully and effectively in negotiations with management and to conduct internal union affairs according to democratic standards.
Therefore, we the members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, in convention assembled, adopt this Constitution and this