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Saunders, Reyes Elected

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Lee Saunders

LOS ANGELES — Delegates to the 40th International Convention of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO (AFSCME), yesterday elected Lee Saunders to be president, and Laura Reyes to be secretary-treasurer of the union representing 1.6 million public service workers.

Saunders received 683,628 votes to 582,358 for Danny Donohue, CSEA/Local 1000 president, also an International vice president. In the race for secretary-treasurer, the union’s second highest-ranking officer, Laura Reyes, UDW/Local 3930 president also an IVP, received 661,413 votes to 603,624 for Alice Goff, District Council 36 president. The election was administered by the American Arbitration Association.

“Both Laura and I are commited to our members and cherish this union,” said AFSCME President-elect Lee Saunders. “We had a vigorous and energetic campaign, but now the union will pull together to win victories for working families and our members all across this great country.”

“We know that Wall Street and their allies are engaged in an all-out assault against our members and the services we provide. They know that AFSCME stands in the way of their efforts to destroy the middle class. We are united in our commitment to stand up for the men and women who care for America’s children, nurse the sick, plow our streets, collect the household trash and guard our prisons. Our members are a cross-section of America, not some elite group as our opponents try to claim. We are energized and ready for the battles ahead, including putting boots on the ground to ensure the re-election of Pres. Barack Obama.”

Secretary-Treasurer-elect Laura Reyes said that she would “work night and day for the working families of America.”

“Together, we can and will stand up for fairness and for an end to the scapegoating of public service workers. We will pull together in communities across America to find real solutions to the problems facing so many families.”

Pres. Gerald W. McEntee, who retires today after 31 years as AFSCME president, said the delegates’ decision to elect Saunders and Reyes “strengthens our leadership and will enhance our ability to face the challenges that await us around the country.”

“Laura and I are humbled and honored to have been chosen to lead AFSCME,” Saunders said. “We have great respect for Danny and Alice and will work with them to move our union forward.”

Saunders will be the fourth president of AFSCME since the union’s formation 75 years ago in Madison, Wis.