AFGE Sees Largest Surge of New Members in 18 months

Categories: The Insider, Organizing

We did it! 

After being under attack for four years, our resilience, continued efforts, and strong belief in our cause have paid off. In March of 2021, our union saw a surge of new members. It was our best month of net membership recruitment since October 2019!

The previous administration’s repeated assaults on government workers and our union made it harder for us to come together and demand fair treatment. But through all the trials and tribulations, we stood united.  

In the end, we prevailed, racking up a laundry list of victories in the first few months of the Biden administration that will improve the lives of government workers and help our agencies deliver on their missions. As more workers learned about those victories, they wanted to become part of our movement for better pay, stronger benefits, a secure retirement, and dignity, fairness, and respect on the job.  

In March, nearly 2,800 new members joined the AFGE family as our union began to roll out a new organizing initiative aimed at helping workers build power and win positive change. 

“Federal and D.C. government workers are responding to the work our union is doing and the victories we are winning to improve their lives,” said AFGE National President Everett Kelley. “With our recent track record of major success, the benefits of being a part of our union have never been clearer. I’m urging every AFGE leader – if you aren’t already organizing, start now.” 

“Now is the time to secure our victories, consolidate our gains, and build our power so the 700,000 government workers we represent never face another four years of vicious attacks like the last four.” 

“The past two years have been hard on this union,” said AFGE Membership and Organization Director David Cann. “Attacks on our ability to engage in representation, provide due process, and attempts to strip away union resources piled on our locals, not even mentioning the pandemic. But folks are emerging from this dark period, where basic survival seemed to compete with organizing, and are getting back to growing our union.”  

“The truth is, the more people we bring into our union, the more power we have. The more hands we have doing the work, the stronger we are as a group,” he added. “In the coming weeks, we will have more recruitment, and will be growing more than we have in past years. National and district staff are excited to stand with locals and councils to grow this union.” 

Going forward, Cann said we will have more one-on-one conversations with every current and potential member. We will get more people involved, raise more voices, and change the relationship federal employees have with work. 

Are you an AFGE local and ready to make a difference?  

Check out our AFGE NOW page and start building power! 


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