Letter From President Lee Saunders AFSCME


Dear AFSCME Leaders and Activists,

Thanks to all of you who participated in last night’s AFSCME leaders and activists tele-town hall. For those of you who were not able to join, you can find a copy of my remarks and a recording of the call by visiting our toolkit at www.janusvafscme.org.

On Wednesday, with a 5 to 4 vote, the Supreme Court overturned 41 years of established law and made the public sector right-to-work nationwide. This means non-members in the public sector are no longer required to pay fair share fees, even though they benefit from the representation we provide. This is nothing less than a ruthless attack on our freedom, an attempt by wealthy special interests to rig the economy in their favor.

For those of you who have accepted the AFSCME Strong challenge, you are prepared for the attacks and dishonest campaigns that have already begun to try to trick AFSCME members into walking away from their union. If you haven’t fully embraced AFSCME Strong, it may not be too late if you get on board right now. To do this, you must begin to have one-on-one conversations with every person in the bargaining units you represent — members and non-members — asking them to sign membership and dues authorization cards.

We have developed valuable resources that you can use in our Janus toolkit. These resources have been updated to include additional materials for a post-Janus environment. I also want to hear from you with questions, concerns and thoughts on what additional resources would be most useful to your local, council or retiree chapter. You can send me a message using this form.

Sisters and brothers, this is going to be tough — but we will get through it together. Public service workers never quit on our communities, and we never quit on each other. No court case can change that.

In solidarity,

Lee Saunders

P.S. To learn more about the Janus decision, visit the AFSCME blog. You can also read a good piece about the decision in the The New York Times: Labor Unions Will Be Smaller After Supreme Court Decision, But Maybe Not Weaker. And check out this must-read about the State Policy Network, a coalition of billionaire-funded groups that is running a scam to try to steal our rights.