By Evan Henerson
They’re called MATs, and if you are brother or sister of AFSCME Local 3299, these MAT’s are ready to welcome you.
The Member Action Teams (MATs) of AFSCME 3299 are responsible for turning out their peers in great numbers for any type of action. Whether there is a pending strike, demonstration, recommitment drive or meeting, the MATs are on the job.
“They are our primary method of communicating with our rank and file membership,” said John de Los Angeles, spokesperson for the Local. “They regularly attend meetings with organizers and get the information they need about the contract or whatever else is going on. Our activist members make sure we have a very strong presence in the workplace.”
The MATs were a driving force behind rallying 25,000 members to participate in the system-wide strike at the University of California in May. These same teams helped pick up members from the California Nurses Association and the University Professional and Technical Employees, bringing the number of people who left the job to more than 53,000 statewide. Local 3299 has several dynamic committees which focus on areas other than contract enforcement. De los Angeles citied the Local’s Immigration Committee and a Racial Justice Working Group.
Local 3299 will take its place on the field Friday night during Union Night at Dodger Stadium, an event that officials recognize has a greater significance than an evening at the ballpark.
“Seeing unions getting together at events like this shows a surge in the return of labor unions not just in California, but around the United States,” de Los Angeles said. “With the return of harmful policies brought about by President Trump, I think the public understands the importance of unions now more than ever.”