AFSCME President Lee Saunders today applauded the efforts of union members for their role in helping pro-worker candidates win many state and congressional races during the midterm elections. Here’s his full statement:
“With great courage and conviction, working people fought back in this election against the rigged economy, standing together and sending a message to the wealthy special interests.
“For the first time in nearly a decade, the U.S. House of Representatives will have a pro-worker majority. And in many states, where extremist governors have spent years viciously attacking the rights of public service workers, we fought back and prevailed.
“Bruce Rauner, the multimillionaire governor of Illinois who was the original plaintiff in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, was trounced in his re-election bid. Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin who stripped away our collective bargaining rights in 2011, also went down.
“Pro-worker governors in Pennsylvania and Oregon retained their seats. And in Nevada, Minnesota and Michigan, voters elected new governors who are champions of working people.
“Governors will receive help in advancing a pro-worker agenda from newly elected allies in state legislatures across the country.
“Some important races have yet to be called, but we know this: AFSCME members organized and mobilized in overwhelming numbers during this election. Working with our allies, we harnessed the power of grassroots organizing to make a powerful case for real change.
“The corporate CEOs and the politicians that do their bidding do not relinquish power without a struggle. And they rig the rules not just of our economy but our democracy – giving themselves a built-in and unfair electoral advantage.
“But AFSCME members and their allies are resilient. We woke up today even more confident in our values, more determined than ever to stand up for our union, our families and our communities. Because we never quit.”