|We Make Connecticut Happen|
Next Wave Storms Detroit; Mystic Next
Now, it’s up to the courts whether or not 911 operators, water purification workers, clerical employees, and other public employees will receive the benefits they worked for and negotiated over. We can be sure that politicians in every state legislature and city hall across the country are waiting to see what comes out of that courtroom looking to use it as an opportunity to go after our jobs, our benefits and our bargaining rights.
I was in Detroit the weekend before they filed for bankruptcy along with 600 of our brothers and sisters for AFSCME’s 3rd Next Wave Conference. We stormed Detroit’s City/County Building calling on Governor Snyder – the same governor who pushed through right-to-work-for-less legislation last year – to listen to the residents of Detroit and respect workers rights.
It was clear to all of us, that we need to do more to protect our rights and our democracy when confronted with the job-cutting, pension-slashing anti-worker agenda personified by Snyder and his Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.
The conference was a great opportunity for Next Wavers (AFSCME’s newer members) to begin taking ownership of our union. Together we discussed ways we can grow the labor movement, learned strategies to defend our contract and collective bargaining rights, and heard from leaders of our union about our history. We also had the opportunity to meet with members from across the country to share stories of recent challenges we’ve faced and victories we’ve won.
I left Detroit determined to build a stronger labor movement. And that’s why I’m planning on attending the 2nd Annual Regional Next Wave Training this September in Mystic, CT.
This joint effort between Council 4 and Council 94 (AFSCME Rhode Island) will be an opportunity for us to focus on what kind of change we want to make in our local unions and communities. It’s an opportunity for the next generation of union leaders from state and municipal unions in both states to learn from each other and from seasoned members. Most timely, this year’s theme is: Activate!
Millie Brown, left, and Aaron Lichwalla of Local 387 joined Next Wavers in the Detroit protest.
Connecticut should not and will not go down the path of Detroit if we are organized, mobilized and engaged. Let’s get activated. Hope to see you in Mystic!
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