Paul Blujus, a CSEA (New York state) member, on Sunday talked an Oregon member into sticking with his union and convinced him to reject the lies and misinformation being spread by the anti-union group, the Freedom Foundation.
Blujus, a certified nursing assistant at a veteran’s nursing home, talked to the Oregon member from the Rise Up Action Center at the AFSCME 43rd International Convention while calling members all over the country to convince them of the value of our union.
“Just someone reaching out to him mattered,” Blujus said. “People realize when they get a phone call from the union, this is for real.”
Many members also called others across the country and took other actions – sending texts, writing letters to their elected representatives and learning new skills and techniques to advocate for their union and strengthen it against attacks from billionaires, corporate interests and right-wing groups.
“A conversation goes a long way as far as clearing confusion up, any kind of doubt, any kind of negativity. I find just having those conversation makes a lot of headway towards converting someone to the union’s point of view,” Blujus said.
Delegates participated in 10-minute learning sessions – which ranged from a primer on bots to a lesson on how to run for political office – and powered up activism by sending texts to recruit volunteers, taking political action and making AFSCME Strong and legislative calls.
The learning sessions ended Sunday, but the Rise Up Action Center is open through Thursday to encourage delegates to make calls and write letters and texts.
Actions will be recorded electronically, and results will be broadcast on a digital map. Delegates can watch in real time to see how, together, they are improving our communities across the country. Actions vary each day, so delegates should check out the schedule for the week, or just stop by the Rise Up Action Center in the Exhibit Hall.
The Rise Up Action Center “is a really good idea,” he said. “There’s no excuse for not getting involved. Our survival is at stake.”