April Letter from President Hoffman

 APRIL Letter to Local 4001 

Dear Sisters and Brothers: 

Wow, the year is just flying by! April is here and it is HISTORIC to say the least. 

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the death of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. Some of you may not know the connection between AFSCME and Dr. King. On February 1, 1968 two Memphis sanitation workers, Echol Cole and Robert Walker, were crushed to death in a malfunctioning city garbage truck. On February 12, AFSCME Local 1733 went on strike because of bad working conditions and low wages. The mayor of Memphis refused to recognize the union and negotiate with the workers. On April 3, as the strike continued Dr. King would return and give his “I’ve been to the Mountaintop” speech. On April 4, he was shot to death while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. On April 8, Mrs. King and dozens of national leaders lead a peaceful march through Downtown Memphis in memory of Dr. King and in support of the Strike. On April 16, AFSCME was able to announce that an agreement was reached and the strike was over. 

So, Doctor King was not only a Civil Rights leader he was a leader and supporter of Workers Rights and was a great friend of AFSCME. He believed there was dignity in all work and there should be dignity for all workers. Civil rights, worker rights, and economic rights are all linked. 

The other item of note for this month is that the Minnesota Legislature has finally passed our contracts without adding any poison pen amendments. Governor Dayton immediately signed the bill. And now it is just a matter of time until we receive our back pay. A special thanks to ALL of our members for this. Without the support and hard work from all of our full members we would not have been able to get a fair and equitable contract. 

Remember that elections matter! Come November:

  • First and most important get out and Vote for candidates that will support the work we do and give us the support we need to do the work we love!
  • Hold accountable those that would rather take away our (workers) rights!

Finally, Council 5 has announced that all of us will be able to watch the Gubernatorial screening live APRIL 19 from 2 PM to 5:00 PM. Please be aware you need to be a member to watch. For further directions on how to sign in please go to: http://afscmemn.org/story/members-can-watch-gubernatorial-screening-live

Please have a safe and enjoyable April!

In Solidarity, 

Joel Hoffman