July 23, 2016
By Neal Tepel
Las Vegas, NV – Member delegates attending the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) 42nd International Convention reelected Lee Saunders as International President.
In his first years as president, Saunders fostered a program of agressive organizing. At the same time of record organizing at AFSCME, the union experienced unprecedented attacks on public service and organized labor.
“America’s public service workers never quit on their communities,” Saunders said. “They are up before sunrise to make sure buses, roads and bridges are safe for children going to school. They are still at work at midnight, staffing hospitals and responding to 911 emergencies. They do their jobs with passion and pride. They deserve good wages and benefits, professional development and retirement security, and most of all, recognition and respect.”
With a renewed focus on organizing, AFSCME has added new members, trained thousands of new activists and strengthened the bond between members and their union. Since 2013, nearly 340,000 fee-payers and nonmembers have signed up with AFSCME, including nearly 63,000 new members in so-called “right-to-work” states like Iowa, Florida and Texas. The union’s voluntary political action committee, PEOPLE, has broken records, both in terms of dollars raised and the number of members contributing.
“I am honored by the confidence AFSCME members have placed in me, and I look forward to building on the success of the last four years. I only hope to do as great a job leading this union over the next four years as AFSCME members do everyday to make their communities better places to live.”