AFSCME Strike: May 16 2019

May 24, 2019

By Megan Neelley, Spring 2019 Intern 

AFSCME is the nation’s largest and fastest growing public services employees union. Members include nurses, corrections officers, EMT, childcare workers and many more. AFSCME includes a total of 3,400 local unions in 46 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. Each local union has its own constitution, structure, and election of offices.

AFSCME began in 1932 during a major economic depression. It was created to promote and enhance the civil service system as well as to spread civil service across the country.

On May 16th, the workers were striking against the UC system due to unfair labor practices. Specifically, they were striking against labor outsourcing. Labor outsourcing is when union workers are taken out of their jobs and are replaced by workers who get paid less and have no benefits. This is extremely problematic as new workers are often not required to do as much training and are less qualified for their positions. This can be dangerous as many of the jobs they are replacing are in hospitals. For example, at UC Davis, they are building a new medical building. Instead of allowing the workers they already have employed to work in the new building, they are bringing in workers who are not part of AFSCME to work their jobs. If members of the Union want these jobs, they have to reapply and they will lose all of their benefits.