Standing Together, Fighting Back

Local 2663 President Paul Lavallee, Council 4 Representative Bonnie Liedtke and Local 2663 Executive Board member Marybeth Hill.

LOS ANGELES — Council 4 members were front and central during at AFSCME’s 40th International Convention June 18-22 in Los Angeles, CA.

The convention highlighted AFSCME’s efforts to fight for collective bargaining, pensions, workers’ rights, while pushing back against the corporate agenda and budget cuts in states nationwide.

“Everyone knows unions are the last wall against the flood of corporate influence in government,” progressive talk radio and MSNBC host Ed Schultz said while emceeing the battleground program “You must keep up the fight!”

Schultz, the host of MSNBC’s The Ed Show introduced five AFSCME members who aren’t backing down, including Dawn Tyson of Council 4 Local 538 (NP-3 State Clerical). Watch the video of Dawn and other AFSCME members from the battleground program below:

The second full day of the convention featured Vice President Joe Biden, who electrified and motivated union members with his remarks.

Responding to attacks on public service workers by GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and right-wing lawmakers, Biden told delegates that they deserve unwavering respect for the work they do.

“You provide the safe neighborhoods, you provide the good schools, you provide the school lunches, you provide the day care centers, you provide the hospitals, you provide the roads, you provide the ability of people to live a decent middle-class life. We owe you.”

See Vice President Biden’s full address here, and watch excerpts below:

Convention delegates on June 21 elected Lee Saunders to be president, and Laura Reyes to be secretary-treasurer of the union representing 1.6 million public service workers.

“We know that Wall Street and their allies are engaged in an all-out assault against our members and the services we provide," Saunders said. "They know that AFSCME stands in the way of their efforts to destroy the middle class."

Convention delegates also elected Council 4 Executive Director Sal Luciano to serve another term as an International Vice President. Congratulations to Brother Luciano.