AFSCME Council 5 Lauds New Juneteenth State Holiday

February 3, 2023


Contact: Max Hall

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(c): 612-247-3725

AFSCME Council 5 Lauds New Juneteenth State Holiday

Today, Governor Tim Walz signed legislation into law ensuring that Juneteenth is a state holiday in Minnesota.

SOUTH SAINT PAUL, Minn. – AFSCME Council 5 Executive Director Julie Bleyhl released the following statement after Governor Tim Walz signed legislation into law today ensuring that Juneteenth is a state holiday in Minnesota:

“AFSCME Council 5, our union of more than 43,000 working people, commends and lauds Governor Tim Walz for signing legislation into law creating Juneteenth as an official state holiday in Minnesota. This holiday has been secured in many collective bargaining agreements throughout our union membership and we will never stop fighting to ensure this holiday is not only in all of our union contracts, but to ensure Juneteenth is recognized as a standalone paid holiday; To do anything otherwise is disrespectful to the working-class and the history of Juneteenth in the celebration of emancipation and freedom.

"Juneteenth is more than a holiday, it's also a call to action and the labor union movement will continue to lead on our critical work to end disparities in our state, based too often on race and zip code. No matter your background, race, gender, sexual orientation, or zip code, you have a valuable place in our state and are deserving of the American Dream without barriers. As Representative Ruth Richardson said, "It’s a step in the right direction of truly living up to the promise of this nation that all are created equal."

"We thank the bill authors Senator Bobby Joe Champion and Representative Ruth Richardson for their leadership in fighting for Juneteenth to be a state holiday in Minnesota and for Governor Walz's commitment to Juneteenth recognition in state law."


AFSCME Council 5 is a labor union representing more than 43,000 workers who advocate for excellence in services for the public, dignity in the workplace, and opportunity and prosperity for all workers.