President Lee Saunders
A Union Response to the Supreme Court’s Janus Decision
The union must belong to the workers, and they must pay for their union so they can own it.
Ruling attacks the freedom of working people
Janus v. AFSCME was engineered by corporate interests who want to rig the economy even more in their own favor, but the labor movement is bigger than one Supreme Court decision.
Supreme Court Case Threatens Freedom of American Workers
For all they do, public service workers deserve basic respect and a fair hearing in the Supreme Court. If facts, law and precedent matter, Janus v. AFSCME will be decided in their favor.
The Real Problem Is Robbing Workers of Fair Compensation, Not Public-Service Unions
Robbing sanitation workers and corrections officers of a decent living while lavishing more tax breaks on corporations and billionaires is the real problem, a problem made far worse if the court rules against working people.
The False Slogan of Right to Work: An Attack on Worker Freedom
AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders explains in a new column why the Janus v. AFSCME case would be particularly bad for minority communities.
The False Slogan of Right to Work: An Attack on Worker Freedom
The Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 case before the Supreme Court would make so-called “right-to-work” the law of the land in the public sector, threatening the freedom of working people to join together in strong unions.
Want to Get Back to Normal? Strong Unions Are Key
Organized labor can be a bulwark against the rising inequality and authoritarianism that threaten to dismantle democracy.
Puerto Rico needs a Marshall Plan
America must help Puerto Rico rebuild after Hurricane Maria, just as it did for Europe after World War II.
Public Service Workers Deserve Our Respect
The hurricane relief work being done by AFSCME members further proves that public service workers deserve respect, not scorn from politicians.
What Our Public Workers Deserve: Our Respect
Again and again, they get us through crises. So why do we treat them so badly?
Labor Unions: Bringing You More Freedoms Than the Weekend
If you’re able to exhale and take a break this Labor Day weekend, thank a union worker for that feeling of freedom. And know that we’ll keep fighting for it no matter what.
Still Striving for the Promised Land
To truly celebrate Dr. King’s life and carry his values forward, to properly honor the sacrifice of the sanitation workers, a single day of activities isn’t enough. We need an extended campaign of grassroots education and mobilization.
Corporate Intimidation Threatens Worker Freedom
Anyone surprised by the outcome of the union election at the Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi, hasn’t been paying attention.
Threats Facing Working People and AFSCME’s Response
AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders discusses the threats facing AFSCME members and working people everywhere and what our union is doing about it.
The Right Wing Distorts “Freedom”
Real freedom is the freedom for working people to amass power in numbers, so they can fight for the things their families need. Real freedom is the freedom for working people to prosper.
Unions — Not Corporations — Stand for Freedom of American Workers
Corporate interests have petitioned the Supreme Court to take a case in which the plaintiffs seek to impose “right-to-work” as the law of the land in the public sector.
Nurse on Front Lines Sees Value of Health-Care Act
Labor and delivery nurse Pat Waller has devoted her career to taking care of pregnant women and infants.
An Era of Scorn for Our Government Workforce
Around the country, right-wing politicians, underwritten by corporate interests, are going after the rights and the economic security of those who work for the public good. They're not just trying to knock us down; they want to take us out.
Maybe Eight Is Enough for the Supreme Court
If Judge Gorsuch can’t be a justice for all Americans, then the country would be best served leaving this seat on the Court vacant, just as it has been for the last 13 months.
The Secret Plan to Tax Your Health Benefits
The Affordable Care Act pulled the country out of a health care crisis. How does the congressional majority show its appreciation? By trying to kill the law.
Paying the “Price” for New HHS Secretary
Older Americans are particularly vulnerable now that the Senate has confirmed Tom Price as the next secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Black History Month: A Celebration of Possibility
Black History Month honors both visionaries and everyday people.
March, Then Organize for the Next Four Years
If you marched on January 21st, make sure that you talk to your family and neighbors and start building a groundswell. Carry a sign on Saturday, but organize and mobilize on Monday. We need more than catharsis; we need community action.
Dr. King, Labor Leader
As we honor what would have been Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 88th birthday, let us remember his commitment to advancing both racial and economic justice.
Public Service Workers Making the Holidays Happen
The holidays are a time for celebration, a time to let yourself eat a little more than usual, and a time for family. But it’s also a time to take stock.
Trump must not pull a bait-and-switch on American workers
Organized labor stands ready to help President Trump do right by working people. But so far, it appears a cruel bait-and-switch is in the works.
Trump: Where the Rubber Hits the Road
If your family anything like mine, there will be plenty of lively debate about politics and current affairs, about what a Trump administration will mean for our country’s future.
The New Labor Movement: Solidarity Without Conformity
The modernized labor movement will be a more muscular labor movement, with energy and activism unleashed from the bottom up, acting as a more powerful force on behalf of its members and all working people.
At Their Best When Things Are At Their Worst
Public service workers were the heroes of the most terrifying, catastrophic day in American history.
Government Didn’t Fail Flint, Austerity Did
The tragedy in Flint is not just a failure of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. It is a completely predictable failure of austerity.
Raises, Not Roses
The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was a victory and a necessary step to help fight pay discrimination, but seven years later, we need to do even more.
For a Nation on the Edge and in the Margins, There Are Swindles or Solutions
Donald Trump is boiling years of extremist attacks on working people, immigrants and the poor down to a bitter sludge and serving it up to a thirsty, unsettled public that decreasingly believes it will ever have a shot at a middle-class existence.
Americans Already Know How to Fix This Economy
The recovery doesn't seem to be coming fast enough. The wealthiest few are getting richer while most Americans' wages are actually declining. How do we move forward? Rebuilding the middle class is a pretty big order.
Here's to 80 Years of Social Security -- and at Least 80 More
Social Security is a major source of income for most of the seniors in this country; 9 out of 10 individuals older than 65 receive Social Security retirement payments. It’s one of our most beloved government institutions.
The 'Inexcusable' Assault on Workers in Wisconsin
Just like the band that kept playing as the Titanic went down, Walker pretends that the right-to-work scam will lure employers to Wisconsin and somehow assist working families.
Secretary Clinton offered a strong message for working families
Statement of AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders on Secretary Clinton’s announcement.
AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders Statement on National Healthy Schools Day, April 7, 2015
Saunders: “No question that quality public schools are a gateway to the middle class for millions of American children.”
President Saunders on Expanding Opportunity in America's Urban Areas
"We cannot gentrify our way to a better tomorrow."
We Must Stand with Law Enforcement Officers
It is a mistake to think it's the role of police officers alone to fix the deep-rooted inequalities afflicting too many Americans. But officers must absolutely be active participants in an honest dialogue about the problems rooted in race and poverty.
'Union Scholars' Can Open New Doors for Themselves, Workers
The AFSCME Union Scholars Program, offered in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, is a 10-week summer field placement for rising college juniors and seniors.
Paid Sick Leave: A Workplace Standard for the 21st Century
AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders and Sec.-Treas. Laura Reyes issued the following statements on the reintroduction of the Healthy Families Act.
We Built the Middle Class, and We Can Rebuild It
The benefits to workers who form a union are concrete and undeniable. Unionized workers earn on average $207 more per week than their nonunion counterparts, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
We Have Cure for What Ails State of the Union
When President Obama delivers the State of the Union address, he'll be able to celebrate a strengthening economy. Yet, most Americans aren't exactly high-fiving each other. Never mind the state of the union; the state of their households isn't great.
Statement by Lee Saunders on the murders of two New York City Police Officers
The senseless, tragic murders of two NYPD officers are agonizing reminders that the hard-working men and women of law enforcement put their lives at risk every day to protect us.
Congress Should Respect Our Great Nation of Immigrants
What our nation needs is for Congress to do its job and pass a bill. Only comprehensive immigration reform approved by Congress and signed by the President can permanently fix our nation's immigration system.
We Demand a Shot at the American Dream
On Election Day, the American people have an answer for politicians who say we do not deserve better: You are utterly wrong.
They Want Us to Stay Home on Nov. 4
Supporters of more restrictions on voting know that when a majority of Americans go to the polls their grip on power is weakened. That’s why they are trying so hard to stop us. Don’t let them. Use your vote.
New Koch, Same as the Old Koch
Don't be fooled by the recent USA Today column in which Charles Koch, a man who made billions while trampling workers' rights, shares his supposed deep concern for working families, young people and the disadvantaged.
Why the Anti-Union Argument Loses Every Time
We at AFSCME are not hanging our heads. Instead, energized members are helping us grow in the face of the raging anti-union storm.
Principle Is a Terrible Thing to Waste
Last month, United Negro College Fund President Michael Lomax announced that his organization has received a $25-million grant from the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers. I sent the following letter to him.
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