We Must Fight To Keep Our Unions Strong

We Must Fight To Keep Our Unions Strong

We all should be concerned about the passage by the PA Senate’s State Government Committee of Bills 166 & 167. They threaten public sector employee union’s collective bargaining agreements future ability to receive political payroll support from our brothers and sisters. These dollars make possible efforts to support candidates operating in the best interest of workers’ concerns.
The specific language in the so-called paycheck protection Bill 166 passed in the state Senate reads, “ A collective bargaining agreement entered into, renewed or extended on or after the effective date of this section shall not contain provisions authorizing or requiring the deduction of political contributions.”
Republicans in the state Senate, I believe emboldened by the Trump presidency, are now making a frontal attack on those they believe would be organizing against their anti-union agenda.
The PA AFL-CIO stated in opposing the PA House bills, “Rather than address payroll deductions uniformly, Senate Bills 166 and 167 single out public-sector unions in a blatant attempt to silence workers.  Corporations and insurance companies also collect payroll deductions from public employees, and those funds are also used to advocate on issues and lobby politicians.”

We cannot sit on our hands while anti-union measures are being put in place, designed to limit our ability to fight back collectively & politically.
We will be monitoring the situation , talking to our other union brothers and sisters, and determining in the coming days, weeks and months ahead the appropriate steps to take to fight these draconian measures.
We request that you take the time to let your voice be heard. Paycheck deductions are an item subject to collective bargaining, not politicians!

On MLK Day Let’s Get Involved

On MLK Day Let’s Get Involved

On Monday, January 16th, we as a nation honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We honor Dr. King for his courage to stand up and speak out against injustice with incisive and captivating oratory, as well as civil disobedience. Dr. King helped organize and unify people, black and white, rich and poor, by peacefully demonstrating against prejudice and bigotry, to help ensure everyone’s civil rights.
Dr. King marched, was beaten and went to jail for his beliefs that, “people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom.”
We should truly honor Dr. King’s legacy by taking some time on January 16th, to show that more advocacy on the issues of civil rights, social injustice and workers’ rights needs to be done.
I encourage you to get involved in some way. You can support those protesting on that day. You could also volunteer at one of the many community service projects http://www.mlkdayofservice.org/, or come up with your own creative social response in honor of Dr. King’s legacy.

Our Unity Is Key

Our Unity Is Key

Brothers and Sisters,

First of all, I’d like to thank you for working to make sure that Hillary Clinton and other union-friendly candidates won in Philadelphia. We worked to register voters, encourage brothers and sisters to vote and to get the vote out on election day. We did our part and had victories in the Pa House and Senate, as well as for Attorney General and State Treasurer. However, that was not enough to ensure a victory for Hillary Clinton and Katie McGinty, our endorsed Pennsylvania U. S. Senate candidate.
At this time, it is very important that we stay united and focused on our work and what we need to do to maintain the gains we have won at the bargaining table. Those that would turn the clock back on us will look for every opportunity to take advantage of any disunity in our ranks. We must stand with our brothers and sisters to ensure that organized labor is not the victim of a right-wing agenda designed to make us loose hope and loose your positions in municipal government, as well as the nonprofit sector.
Again, thanks for your support, and let’s continue to pull together.

Your brother,
Fred Wright, President, AFSCME District Council 47

Vote for Hillary Clinton for President

Vote for Hillary Clinton for President

Regardless of your political affiliation, the climate of tomorrow’s Presidential election has been one that will be remembered for some time. We have seen history in the making with the first female candidate nominated by a major political party for President of the United States. We also have witnessed a candidate who never held an elected office, coming from corporate America and nominated for President by the GOP. As women and men who have to work for wages and our standard of living, we must pay close attention to what is being said and more importantly the past records of those that are running for the highest office in the land. We cannot afford to be swayed by nifty slogans, such as “Make America Great Again”. Nor do we need to engage in negativity about one’s sex, religion, ethnicity, or immigration status. We need to hear about policy and legislation that will;

* Build our infrastructure * Improve public education

* Make both college and healthcare affordable

* Increase wages for everyone

We have to be confident that the person we vote for has the will, skill and ability to accomplish those goals. You must believe and trust that the person you are voting for can sympathize with workers from all walks of life, public sector and private sector, both highly skilled and low wage workers. I implore you not be fooled by falsehoods or slanted views aired on social media without checking the facts. Take some time to examine each nominee’s record, each nominee’s experience, their character, as well as their stance on union issues. The choice should become very clear. Vote for Hillary Clinton for President!

Thanks,

Fred Wright, DC 47 President