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As solidarity actions and strikes sweep the nation, workers are making history by organizing their workplaces for the first time.

When workers belong to a union, they have a unified voice to create safer, stronger and healthier workplaces. Organizing is our most effective tool to determine workplace dignity, hours, working conditions and quality of life. Workers aren’t stuck with dangerous workplace conditions with poor wages and benefits. They can improve them, together.

The Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act was introduced today in the House of Representatives by Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.). The bill, which currently has 144 cosponsors, would set a minimum nationwide standard of collective bargaining rights that states must provide. It would empower workers to join together for a voice on the job not only to improve working conditions but to improve the communities in which they work.

We’ve said it before: Life is better in a union

Workers who belong to unions make more money than their nonunion counterparts. They have better health care insurance and retirement plans, more job security and safer working conditions. They’re happier.

Some of the nation’s largest cultural institutions accepted more than $1.6 billion in federal help to weather the coronavirus pandemic, but continued to let go of workers – even though the assistance was meant to shore up payrolls and keep workers on the job, according to a report released by AFSCME Cultural Workers United.

When Fran Krugen’s late husband was first diagnosed with diabetes, his insulin cost about $35 a bottle.

But Krugen, an AFSCME retiree from Arizona, will never forget the day when she and her husband went to the drug store to pick up his insulin and the pharmacist told them it now cost $900 a bottle.

“This was medication he needed to live, and we had insurance,” she said at a press briefing earlier this month. “We looked at each other and had to ask ourselves: Do we make the house payment? Do we buy food? Or do we pay for his medication?”

Today, the 20th of September 2021, the District Council of Trade Unions, alongside PROTEC17 and LiUNA Local 483, has signed a Letter Of Agreement (LOA) that provides important rights for AFSCME Local 189 workers impacted by the vaccine mandate.

This agreement is now in effect. As part of the agreement we were able to bargain following additional rights beyond what the City initially proposed:

COVID19 Vaccine Mandate FAQ
Learn more about Oregon AFSCME's response to vaccine mandates