It’s fitting that AFSCME is holding its 43rd International Convention in the city that ignited the American Revolution. Just as our forefathers rose up against tyranny and oppression, our theme this year is “Rise Up,” capturing the determination with which we will overcome the threats and attacks we face. We “Rise Up” to protect the basic rights we have worked so hard to secure since AFSCME was formed in Wisconsin 86 years ago.
What better place than Boston? Here is where Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty took a stand against British taxation without representation. When they threw 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor, they made a statement of resistance that spread across the land.
It’s in Boston where the Massachusetts Supreme Court, back in 1843, first upheld the right of workers in America to organize and to seek recognition of a union through a strike — a case called Commonwealth v. Hunt. That ruling was the legal foundation for the American labor union movement.
Now in 2018, AFSCME is taking a stand — a stand against wealthy special interests threatening the freedom of public service workers to come together to improve their lives and lift up their communities.
Boston is also the headquarters of AFSCME Council 93, more than 45,000 public service workers strong across New England. We’ll be their guests as we hold our convention surrounded by history and culture, from the Freedom Trail to the USS Constitution, from Fenway Park to the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra.
This week we’re going to make history of our own in Boston. We will celebrate as our union rises up from recent challenges, better positioned to grow strong – AFSCME Strong – for generations to come.