Taking the Gloves Off: Resurrecting the Public Sector Strike

Resolution submitted by Shane Clune, Local 2822
Approved at the Council 5 Convention, September 28, 2018

WHEREAS:
In the face of escalating anti-worker attacks such as the Janus decision, unions must fight back to survive; and
WHEREAS:
The successful strikes of public-sector workers in Chicago, West Virginia, and Oklahoma have shown that a protracted strike can deliver historic wins for working people; and
WHEREAS:
AFSCME resolved at its 2018 International Convention in Boston that “AFSCME tactically prioritize local and community organizing efforts to increase membership and community support for strikes; and that AFSCME back grassroots strike ac-tions through appropriate financial, vocal, and/or written support of growing worker engagement motivated by declining working conditions;” and
WHEREAS:
As late AFSCME President Jerry Wurf said “There is no illegal strike, only an unsuccessful one;” and
WHEREAS:
As former AFL leader William Z. Foster said “Starvation in all its forms in strikes is a morale breaker, a scab breeder;” and
WHEREAS:
Many of our smaller locals do not have the financial ability to build a sufficient strike relief fund of their own to ward off starvation on the picket line.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: That AFSCME Council 5 locals are encouraged to develop strike preparation plans as a regular part of our contract campaign planning. These plans could include discussions of strike strategies, strike trainings, educating members about financial preparations, and the establishment of strike hardship funds.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED: That AFSCME Council 5 will mobilize our members and allies against legislative and ju-dicial attacks on our right to strike.