News

Workers in Missouri and New Mexico have chalked important victories against anti-worker laws that would have robbed them of their voices and the right to bargain collectively.

AFSCME social workers fight for the right to continue providing high-quality service to their elderly patients, who are among Minnesota’s most vulnerable residents.
The AFL-CIO Community Services Program, a national partnership between the United Way and the AFL-CIO, exists to provide resources, services and assistance to union workers and their families during times of hardship. “In Minnesota, there are AFL-CIO United Way partnership programs based out of Duluth, Minneapolis and St. Paul,” Rachel Loeffler-Kemp explains. The focus of the program, she says, is supporting working families. “We know that if we can help support them and the issues they face, our whole community is stronger.”

Hardworking Americans’ right to retire with dignity is in danger because billionaires are spending a lot of money to take away our pensions.

John Arnold is one of the worst offenders. He’s a former Enron trader who’s spent $50 million of his own fortune trying to gut retirement security nationally. Enron’s implosion caused billions of dollars of losses to its workers and their families, including a $1.5 billion hit to public pension assets. Yet Arnold escaped with an $8 million bonus right before the crash.

A case the U.S. Supreme Court is taking up this term called Janus v. AFSCME could make the entire public sector “right-to-work” in one fell swoop.

Janus is the culmination of decades of attacks on working people by corporations, the wealthy and the politicians who do their bidding to rig the economy in their favor. The forces behind this case are the same ones that have pushed to limit voting rights, undermine civil rights and attack immigrants.

Thanks to help from AFSCME members, numerous worker-friendly candidates won Tuesday’s election outright or are leading in the polls.

AFSCME members and retirees volunteered hundreds of hours of their time to tirelessly call voters and knock on doors across the state in the weeks leading up to the municipal and school board elections.

AFSCME Council 5 has a new executive director.

John Westmoreland, the former assistant director, started his role Nov. 1.

He replaces Council 5’s founding director Eliot Seide, who is retiring.

“Our union is in good hands,” Seide says.  “Under John’s leadership, our union won’t miss a beat as we continue our program with energy and discipline.”    

Westmoreland says he plans to meet with leaders of every local and build “a coalition of the willing.”