Unions are about strength in numbers and standing up for all workers, regardless of their race, color, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or political views. As one of the most diverse unions in the country that represents workers from all walks of life and various backgrounds, AFGE is proud to take part in two important events this week: AFGE’s 2017 Diversity Week Training and the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA)’s 25th anniversary celebration and 14th biennial convention.
Diversity Week Training
AFGE’s Women's and Fair Practices Department's 4th Annual Diversity Week Training is held August 13 - 18, 2017, with a theme “No Room for Hate.” AFGE members and other federal employees are facing some of the worst attacks that we’ve ever seen, and we believe that there is “No Room for Hate” as we come together to fight back against those who are insistent on destroying our union and good government jobs.
Participants learn from the pros on various topics such as equal employment opportunity (taught by WFP attorneys), workplace bullying (Workplace Bullying Institute Director Gary Namie), AFGE Pride LGBT Leadership (Pride at Work Executive Director Jerame Davis), and building a proactive diversity program (Sukari Pinnock).
Participants will also hear from a number of speakers, including Coalition of Black Trade Unionists President Terry Melvin, AFGE President J. David Cox Sr, National Vice President Augusta Thomas, and National Vice President for District 5 Everett Kelly.
APALA’s 25th Anniversary and Convention
APALA is the first and only national organization of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) union members and allies. Since its founding, APALA has played a unique role in addressing the workplace issues of the 660,000 AAPI union members and in serving as the bridge between the broader labor movement and the AAPI community. Backed with strong support of the AFL-CIO, APALA has more than 20 chapters and pre-chapters and a national office in Washington, D.C.
This year, APALA is holding its 14th Biennial Convention on Aug. 16-20, 2017, in Orange County, California, of which AFGE is a proud sponsor. This exciting conference will bring together more than 500 Asian Pacific American union members and workers from throughout the country to support organizing, civil rights, and economic justice. AFGE Chief of Staff Brian DeWyngaert will be giving a key note speech. This is a good opportunity for AFGE to help strengthen our ability to develop partnerships with the Asian Pacific American community and help to grow the multi-racial labor movement in this country.
The American Federation of Government Employees mourns the loss of two of our union’s beloved former national officers: Augusta Y. Thomas, national vice president for women and fair practices emeritus, and Ken Blaylock, national president emeritus.
The bipartisan bill funds the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for five years and rejects proposals to privatize the agency’s Air Traffic Control function. The legislation also reauthorizes the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for three years and creates, for the first time, an AFGE and TSA management committee to examine the TSA personnel system— including appeal rights to the Merit Systems Protection Board and grievance procedures.
As a government employee and union member, there is a lot to learn. Our union has received numerous questions from members and activists on various topics – but two questions kept coming up. Lucky for our members, our Health and Safety Specialist Milly Rodriguez is on hand to answer them.