AFSCME, Against Tough Odds, Boosts Membership By 90,000 Says Union President
AFSCME President Lee Saunders has announced that even in the face of attacks from anti-worker politicians, billionaires and judges across the country including the United States Supreme Court, the union gained more than 90,000 new members during the past six months.
AFSCME nearly doubled the goal set in early January 2014 when the union launched its “50,000 Stronger” organizing campaign.
“Today, we are 92,155 members stronger, with new members from EMTs to home care workers, and we will continue our fight for the middle class and the future of this country,” Saunders said.
“Our opponents want to deplete the labor movement of resources, steal our power and silence our voices. They are even undercutting the most fundamental right we have as Americans: the right to vote. Yet, no matter the challenges that face us, the answer remains the same: Organize. Organize. Organize," he added.
Included in the 90,000-plus new members are more than 20,000 home care workers, who were the target of the National Right to Work Committee funded lawsuit, Harris v. Quinn, which was recently decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. These caregivers joined AFSCME to protect quality care for children, seniors and people with disabilities.
Saunders announced the organizing victories during his keynote address on the first day of the union’s 41st International Convention.
“Just two weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court undermined the freedom of home care workers and child care workers. But if anybody thinks we’re giving up because things got harder, they are wrong,” Saunders declared.
AFSCME has 1.6 million members. With members in hundreds of different occupations — from nurses to corrections officers, child care providers to sanitation workers — AFSCME advocates for fairness in the workplace, excellence in public services, and prosperity and opportunity for all working families.