Whoever said that AFSCME was dead? Quite the contrary:
In three historic votes aimed at strengthening and focusing AFSCME’s fight for public workers’ rights in Wisconsin, delegates from Councils 24, 40 and 48 voted unanimously to form one united council representing workers across the state.If you could ever get Scott Walker or Chris Abele to be honest for a single minute, they would tell you we haven't gone anywhere.
Staff and rank-and-file leaders from each of the councils traveled the state in January, holding town hall-style meetings to present a unification plan to the union’s membership. Members raised questions, proposed changes to the plan, and ultimately determined to unify their resources. The new council will hold its founding convention in April.
The unification allows the union to refocus its mission, strategy and goals on rebuilding a powerful voice for public employees in Wisconsin. In the wake of the passage of Act 10, which stripped collective bargaining rights from public workers, AFSCME saw its membership decline.
“AFSCME Wisconsin will emerge from this unification a bold, determined and united organization that will continue to advocate for our members and build power for all workers,” said Rick Badger, executive director of AFSCME Council 40. “The tools in our toolbox have changed. Now, we will use collective actions to improve the lives of our members, coalition building with like-minded organizations to make a difference in communities, and political action to change the legislative priorities in Wisconsin.”
AFSCME was established in Wisconsin in 1932, and the state is ground zero for the union. The new united council will be AFSCME Council 32, named after the founding year.
And we ain't about to.