Member Spotlight: Mike Hill

For over 17 years, Mike Hill has worked to protect our community waterways and to keep our neighborhoods clean and safe. A Collection Technician for WSSC Water (Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission), Mike keeps sewer mains in Prince George's County and Montgomery County flowing and free of blockages. "I'm basically there to protect our environment and our houses, to help keep our sewers flowing so no one has to experience a basement backup. People have mailed letters in thanking me and my partner for responding to an emergency job and clearing sewage from their basements, and when we're out in our communities working, people come up to us and express their appreciation," says Mike.

As an executive board member and shop steward for AFSCME Local 2898, Mike ensures that he and his fellow coworkers have the support they need at work in order to safely do their jobs. "I became involved in my union because I wanted to be more proactive instead of reactive. I like talking to people and educating my coworkers on their contract and their rights at work that they might not know about."

Last week, Mike spent two days in our Stewards in Action training learning alongside 20 of his other fellow AFSCME Maryland members about how to engage our coworkers, encourage them to sign a union card, and ultimately get them active and involved. Mike says, "I try to preach the importance of solidarity. That basically, if management doesn't see the solidarity in our local, then they'll try to dictate what they can and leverage their power over us in our contract negotiations. We all have a common goal, and it's getting better wages, better benefits, and better contract language in our collective bargaining agreement. We have the luxury of having a voice on the job, and joining our union and getting involved is the first step."