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By AFSCME Staff Worth the Fight 2018 Convention Workers' Rights

We've Got Plenty of Fight

Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Monday fired up activists attending AFSCME’s 43rd International Convention in Boston, delivering a galvanizing speech that touched on the recent Supreme Court decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case and the confirmation battle for the next Supreme Court justice.

The senior senator from Massachusetts laid bare for delegates the strategy and dark money used in the right wing’s coordinated attacks on the freedoms of working people.

Janus was no accident,” Warren said. “It was designed, funded and pushed through the courts by right-wing billionaires who had three things on their minds: Kill the unions. Kill the unions. Kill the unions.”

Warren was elected to the U.S. Senate on November 6, 2012, and is one of the nation's top experts on bankruptcy and the financial pressures facing middle-class families. She was instrumental in the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. President Barack Obama asked her to set up an agency to hold Wall Street banks and other financial institutions accountable, and to protect consumers from fraudulent mortgages, credit cards and other financial products.

Since arriving in the Senate, she has been one of Washington’s most stalwart champions for workers’ rights and union organizing, and an advocate for policies to level the playing field for working families.

Warren reflected on AFSCME’s own rich history on the front lines of the fights for workers’ rights and civil rights, inspiring the crowd to rise to the challenges facing America today. In recalling one of the most seminal moments in AFSCME history – the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike, Warren said, “Dr. King went to Memphis to fight alongside AFSCME and the sanitation workers because so much of the dream he had for America was inextricably tied to workers’ rights and good jobs.” 

Calling on all Americans to fight for greater economic and social equality is the centerpiece of the I AM 2018 campaign, which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the strike, as well as the assassination of Dr. King, who gave his life to fight alongside the AFSCME sanitation workers.

“As we honor the memory of the sanitation workers who bravely fought on the front lines for justice and the memory of the great leader who gave his life in the cause of justice, we will never forget the responsibility we have to carry on the fights they began so many years ago,” added Warren.

“We are leading a movement. Yes, the billionaires and the Republican donors have the money and, yes, today they have power. But listen hard: There are a whole lot more of us than there are of them. And in a democracy, in a democracy with good union strength and skill and organizing power … we the people will win out. “

Senator Warren holding a UNION sign