Union rights and solidarity

 

#1 My supervisor told us that they cannot give us a raise because of the union.

As an AFSCME member you can get discounts on entertainment, health plans, auto services, home loans ...

Well, not exactly. Two union members  came to members of the Local 800 Executive Board, asking for help, within a month of each other.

It was 10 years ago this month that the 2008 financial crisis kicked into high gear. When storied Wall Street bank Lehman Brothers shut down, bankers walking out of the building carrying cardboard boxes of their possessions made the perfect image for TV cameras.

No politician running for office today would openly advocate for more wealth inequality in our country, where the richest 1 percent of the population owns 40 percent of the wealth. Even candidate Donald Trump in 2016 promised to stand up for the “forgotten men and women of our country,” who feel betrayed by a rigged economic system that benefits a small minority at their expense. Yet every single day, President Trump and congressional leaders seem determined to do more to increase wealth inequality than to alleviate it; do more for corporations and the wealthy than for single parents working two or three jobs to make ends meet.

Like others around the world, I mourned the death last week of Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul set a new standard for enduring classic songs with both artistic and political impact, like her mega-hit “Respect,” which became an anthem for both the civil rights and women’s movements.

And that song is on my mind as we embark on a week of action dedicated to shining light on the stakes for women in the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Four members of Local 800 joined 5000 delegates from across the United States and Canada at AFSCME's 43rd International Convention, held in Boston in mid-July.

They rose early each morning to attend 7:30 AM training workshops, before the day's main Convention sessions began – and they returned not exhausted but energized to continue, in the words of Josie Cha from the Museum of Tolerance, the “fight for fair treatment, justice, and equal rights for all workers.” (photo at right: Lilia Arbona and Josie Cha)

Community support was the crucial link in helping the negotiating team of AFSCME Local 800 members succeed in reaching a landmark first contract with management at the Museum of Tolerance (MOT).