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Union momentum is strong heading into 2024

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Union momentum is strong heading into 2024
By Lee Saunders ·

Editor’s note: The following is a year-end column by President Saunders that appeared in a couple of publications. You can find the entire column here or here.

When working people stand together, raise their voice and show their power, they win.

That’s the lesson of 2023, a year in which workers boldly asserted their rights and refused to accept less than their fair share of the value they create.

Through October, nearly 500,000 workers had taken the courageous step of going on strike this year, three times the number that did during the first 10 months of 2022.  And almost 900,000 union workers have won pay hikes of at least 10% over the last year.

AFSCME affiliates across the country have been a part of this wave of strike activity. From workers in Yamhill County, Oregon, to employees in the Morgan County, Ohio, school district, AFSCME members withheld their labor until their employer afforded them the respect they deserve.

This is happening across the economy – from health care to hospitality. Writers, actors and other workers in the entertainment industry hung together for months until they finally got a better deal from their employers. Sometimes, just the threat of a strike forces management to soften and cede to workers’ demands. That’s what happened in the standoff between the city of San Jose, California, and the Municipal Employees’ Federation–AFSCME Local 101 this summer. …

To read the column in full, go here or here.

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