This Labor Day, We Have New Reason to Celebrate & Keep Fighting

A message from Council 36 President Andy Jung: 

This Labor Day, We Have New Reason to Celebrate – and to Keep Fighting

With Labor Day around the corner, working people have a lot to celebrate, past and present. That includes a new Gallup poll revealing public support for labor unions has reached 64%—a near 50-year high by some accounts. Compare that to the headlines just one year ago, in which public sector unions like ours were existentially threatened by an anti-labor crusade to weaken workers’ rights through the infamous Janus v. AFSCME decision.

Yet even there, AFSCME District Council 36 (as well as many, many other unions) have come through not just “union strong,” but union stronger – by building power through organizing.

There is another piece of good news in time for Labor Day: The Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act. The PSFNA is new federal legislation that would ensure public service workers have the right to negotiate with their employer, and we should all do whatever we can to support is passage. AFSCME is committed to push every U.S. representative to support this important legislation. It would set a minimum nationwide standard of collective bargaining rights that states must provide, including allowing public service workers to join together and have a voice on the job to improve both working conditions and the communities in which they live and work.  This legislation gives public service workers the freedom to join together in a union to win respect and fair treatment on the job. (For more information, click here to download the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act toolkit.)

By standing together, union members earn higher wages and are more likely to have employer-provided health care, pensions and benefits such as paid sick and family leave. Unions also help to secure needed safety standards, protections and the necessary resources for members to do their jobs well and to meet the needs of the communities they care about. 

Council 36 wishes you all a happy Labor Day. Many of you will be out there at Labor Day parades, but wherever you are – remember that Council 36 is always there to assist, support and protect each and every one of our Locals and individual members. 

Let us celebrate -- while also preparing for the important labor fights ahead!