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Rotted-out floors, windows that leaked – even termite, ant and roach infestations. These were the conditions that cashier booth attendants at Florida’s PortMiami, “cruise capital of the world,” dealt with every day. That is, they did until they decided they would stand up to management to demand changes.

They got them, thanks to the power of solidarity – and their union, AFSCME Local 199.

Located almost an hour to the northwest of the state Capitol in Tallahassee and nestled along the border with Georgia, the city of Chattahoochee, Florida in Gadsden County is a rural small town surrounded by tobacco farms.

But these tobacco farms gave rise to arguably the state’s most important labor leader when Jeanette Wynn returned home from college and began work in September 1970 at the Florida State Hospital, the state’s largest public mental institution.