4,082 Federal Workers Joined the AFGE Family in August

Categories: The Insider, Organizing

AFGE is excited to report that 4,082 federal workers joined AFGE last month! 

Federal employees join AFGE because they want to have a say in their work and working conditions. With nearly two dozen major victories AFGE members have recently won, more and more people are joining our union. 

“Our power is growing. Folks are pouring into the union at rates we haven’t seen in years, and they are joining to have a voice,” said Membership and Mobilization Department Director David Cann. “Our growth is based upon folks realizing that having a voice on the job is possible.”  

People are also realizing that their involvement in the union makes the difference in all of the recent wins we have had. 

“Folks are realizing that their involvement in the union determines what our fights are and what our wins are,” he added.  

NEOs and communications are key to organizing success 

Local 1260 representing Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) in Southern California got the highest number of new members in August – 146. The local officers were very excited to learn that all their hard work paid off and they reached the number one spot in the federation.  

With high attrition rates especially among part-time TSOs, for any TSA local to get any net gain in membership at all is already a success.  

“We’re certainly humbled and excited. It just speaks to the leaders that we have in this local and even the commitment from the membership or the new members, them believing in us,” said Local President Bobby Orozco Jr. “We will continue to do what we’re doing and also improve upon that.” 

To recruit new members, the local relies on new employee orientations (NEOs) to introduce new hires to AFGE. It has also put an emphasis on communications to make sure members and potential members know what the union has accomplished. 

“That speaks for you louder than any word can,” explains Executive Secretary Sean Root, who has been a member since 2002 and enjoys talking to potential members about what AFGE has accomplished since the beginning when TSOs didn’t even have a contract.  

Retention has been a real challenge for the local. Low pay and a lack of full workplace rights enjoyed by most federal workers are the main reasons why people are leaving.  

“People are leaving this place, but I know we’re moving in the right direction making this a better place to work,” said Secretary Treasurer Victor Payes, referring to AFGE’s recent victory convincing the Biden administration to give TSOs a pay bump and grant them more Title 5 workplace rights and our legislative efforts to make these rights permanent. 

That’s why Local 1260 is also focused on retention as well as recruitment. The local covers 11 airports in Southern California with LAX being the largest.  

The local also works with the district to reach out to potential members at its airports. It uses organizing materials from the AFGE website and AFL-CIO program about college benefits. 

The local currently has nearly 2,000 dues paying members. It has a goal of reaching 2,500 by the end of next year. The officers are optimistic. 

“We know we’re capable,” Orozco added. 

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