American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is the largest trade union of public employees in the United States. It represents 1.3 million public sector employees and retirees, including health care workers, corrections officers, sanitation workers, police officers, firefighters, and childcare providers.

Founded in Madison, Wisconsin in 1932, AFSCME is part of the AFL-CIO, one of the two main labor federations in the United States. AFSCME has had four presidents since its founding.The union is known for its involvement in political campaigns, almost exclusively with the Democratic Party. AFSCME was one of the first groups to take advantage of the 2010 Citizens United decision, which allowed unions and corporations to directly finance ads that expressly call for the election or defeat of a candidate. Major political issues for AFSCME include single-payer health care, protecting pension benefits, raising the minimum wage, preventing the privatization of government jobs, and extending unemployment benefits.According to their website, AFSCME organizes for social and economic rights of their protectorates in the workplace and through political action and legislative advocacy. It is divided into approximately 3,400 local unions in 46 U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.HistoryAFSCME, originally called the Wisconsin State Employees Association, was founded in Madison, Wisconsin in 1932 to represent approximately 50 Wisconsin civil service employees. The union was launched amid fears of politically based firings, the possible elimination of the civil service and a return to patronage jobs. Arnold Zander, Wisconsin's state personnel administrator, emerged as the leader of the union. Soon after its formation, WSEA was granted an American Federation of Labor charter as Federal Labor Union 18213.

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