We are holding AFSCME’s 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.” It captures 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.
Boston 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, in 1843, first upheld the right of workers in America to organize and to seek recognition of a union through a strike in a case called Commonwealth v. Hunt. That ruling was the legal foundation for the American labor union movement.
Now, 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 also is the headquarters of AFSCME Council 93, more than 45,000 public service workers strong across New England. We’re their guests as we gather here, in the birthplace of the American Revolution, to make history of our own. We will celebrate as our union rises up from recent challenges, better positioned to grow strong – AFSCME Strong – for generations to come.