In response to the Florida House voting in favor of union-busting HB 25, President of the Florida AFL-CIO, Mike Williams, issued the following statement:
“No worker in Florida asked for this terrible bill, but House leadership still decided it was good public policy to fast-track stripping our teachers, transit workers, nurses, and other public servants from having a voice on the job.
Working people who voiced their bipartisan disgust to union-busting in our state can no longer trust the Florida House to protect their rights in the workplace.
If the thousands of phone calls, packed committee meetings, and face to face office visits from outraged constituents didn’t send a strong enough message to the special interest lawmakers who supported this bill, the response from workers at the ballot box this November certainly will.”
Orlando – Today, delegates to the Florida AFL-CIO 2017 Biennial Convention unanimously reelected Mike Williams, (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers – IBEW) as President and Andrew Spar, (Florida Education Association – FEA) as Secretary-Treasurer of the state federation.
The Florida AFL-CIO represents over 500 local unions, 10 councils, and over one million union members, retirees, and their families in the state. Mike Williams, an electrician and Jacksonville native, will begin his third term as President, first elected in 2009.
“I am honored that my union sisters and brothers have given me the opportunity to serve as President for another term,” said Williams. “The Florida AFL-CIO will continue to do what we do best, elevate the voices and shared values of the working people in our great state. Together, we will continue to build on what has become the largest and most successful legislative and electoral programs for organized labor in the South.”
Volusia United Educators President and music educator, Andrew Spar will now serve his first full term as Secretary-Treasurer of the state federation.
“Florida’s union members understand the new heights we have reached as a federation, and the immense work that is yet to be done,” said Spar. “I am thrilled to take on these challenges and ready to deliver meaningful change for all working people in Florida.”
In response the events in Charlottesville and President Donald Trump’s responses, Florida AFL-CIO President Mike Williams had the following remarks:
“The Florida AFL-CIO condemns the disgusting display of hatred and bigotry our nation saw by neo-nazi and white supremacist groups in Charlottesville this past weekend.
It is an absolute disgrace that taking a resolute stance against white supremacy would be so difficult for our President.
For Florida’s labor movement, there is no mincing of words or shifting of blame. Our message is clear, there is no place for this type of hatred in our nation.
We stand with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka’s decision to leave the Manufacturing Advisory Council in the wake of President Trump’s continued attempt to draw a moral equivalency between those who hate and those who show the courage to fight back against it.
Labor’s history has proven again and again that the way to defeat the forces of bigotry are by exercising our freedom to stand united in our workplaces and speak up in our communities. The Florida AFL-CIO is dedicated to build on that legacy, and will continue to fight for a better future for all Americans.”