American Federation for State County Municipal Employees called A F S C M E

Local 3801

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The people united will never be defeated - image

Stories on the line >

Share your stories of what happened during your mostly cold and windy tenure out on the line with other strikers, students, faculty, and supporters: email

I had never been on strike before, nor did I think I'd be out holding a picket sign, but I did. I'm glad I did it and would do it again now that I see that this strike was for bargaining for a fair COLA and to keep our steps. Talking with others who also had never done this agreed, but we also agreed that no one wanted it to come to this. Good-faith negotiations before this should have resolved it as has happened for decades before the strike in 2003 (ah, before Bob came about as well...what's with Bob?). However, had more people come out on this strike, either to stay home or be on the line, this strike sure would have seen different results. Maybe next time, since it seems this may be an ongoing issue for AFSCME workers. Seeing the students wave and honk and stopping by to talk about the strike was an excellent interaction. They got to know what we did better as well as us getting to know what was happening on the inside. One student in need of disability services stopped to show his support. He let us know the ADA noncompliance issues with the University and was angry the University administrators kept relaying it was business as usual.
I was amazed to see the support of faculty stopping by to talk with us and support us...and happier more when faculty took their classes off campus so they wouldn't have to cross the picket line. There was a woman I talked to all the time on the phone at the U who I got to get to know well - sharing family stories as well as UMD stories. Lots of respect for this lady, she's a storm-trooper as well as another woman I got to know - both out on the line for 8+ hours each day with many being rainy, cold, and windy (gusts up to 20 mph)!

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