Boston Mayor Marty Walsh spoke at AFSCME’s 43rd International Convention on Monday, stirring the crowd and giving voice to the fact that worker-friendly elected officials like Walsh will fight alongside public service workers despite whatever headwinds they face.
“We have to fight together for all our communities and vote together to take back Washington and statehouses across the country,” Walsh told delegates. “You have a job to do after Janus. You have to show the American people the power of solidarity.”
Walsh was referring to the June 27 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSMCE Council 31, which made the entire country right to work for public service employees.
Walsh has long been a labor leader and advocate. He followed his father as a tradesman and union member of Laborers Local 223 in Boston, where he later served as an officer, rising to head the Building and Construction Trades Council from 2011 to 2013. He was elected Boston’s mayor in 2013 and was re-elected in 2017.
In acknowledging the vital services that the members of AFSCME Council 93 provide to the city of Boston – services like keeping the streets clean, inspecting Boston’s building projects and keeping city parks beautiful – Walsh recognized that cities across the country rely on the grit and determination of AFSCME members every day.
Walsh said that attacks on working families’ freedom to come together in strong unions damage not only the communities that depend on the services public service workers provide, but rob those families of the dream of a fair wage and secure retirement they deserve.
“We are seeing a war on working people, on our families and on our communities by dividing the American worker against each other in every possible way. They demonize and divide,” Walsh said. “Together, we have the power to reject inequality and division. I stand with you each step of the way.”