Activists Rise Up at AFSCME national convention

Posted Jul. 17, 2018 by

The AFSCME 43rd International Convention got off to a rousing start with a resolution honoring the giants who created and built this union into the powerhouse it is today. From Jerry Wurf, AFSCME’s longest running President in the 60s and 70s to Gerry McEntee, who oversaw the rapid growth of AFSCME into the largest public sector union in the country. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Jerry Wurf’s grandchildren, still active in labor union’s today, took to the stage to honor their grandfather, and Gerry McEntee brought down the house when he got to the mic to thank those union leaders and activists who supported him through the years.

Lee Saunder’s opening remarks addressed the Janus court decision. He reminded delegates that the case was brought by special interests “who want to burn our union to the ground.”

“But if the think we’re going to roll over, if they think this is going to slow us down or shut us up, if they think we’re going to let five unelected men in robes steal our freedom, they’ve got a big surprise coming,” Saunders said. On Tuesday, OCSEA delegates and about 5,000 conference goers got down to the business of discussing and passing resolutions, including those supporting a living wage for workers, voting rights, pay equality and Puerto Rico relief, as well as taking up constitutional amendments.

Members can follow along with convention business by following the convention blog at

See OCSEA's photo gallery HERE.