Mike Zackos, a mental health nurse hailing from San Dimas, California, claimed the title of the first to register for AFSCME’s 43rd International Convention in Boston. Zackos, a member of UNAC/UHCP, was joined at the head of the registration line by a group of Southern California nurses eager to kick off their Rise Up week.
“We’re very excited to be here to support the labor movement in fighting for worker rights,” said Zackos. “This is a really significant time in our history. We can’t let our guard down. We can’t let our rights be stripped away.”
Despite an ambitious weeklong agenda, which includes connecting with colleagues and other nurses from across the country, Zackos already carved out some time to get a taste of Boston. He made his first trip to Fenway Park last night to see the Boston Red Sox play the Toronto Blue Jays.
“We want to take a little time to look at all the history and see some venues,” said Zackos.
In an emotional moment, the UNAC/UHCP contingent was joined at the head of the line by legendary health care organizer and AFSCME International Vice President and President of NUHHCE, Henry Nicholas, who, after a 65-year career fighting for a voice on the job for health care workers, remains as energized as ever.
“I’ve never been on vacation,” noted the 82-year-old Nicholas, who echoed a sentiment already palpable in the convention hall: That AFSCME is ready to fight.