|Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO|
We're on our phones all day, returning that text from mom, checking fantasy football scores and deleting all those pesky store emails we don't remember signing up for, but it's about time we use our phones for what they're made for: human conversations. If you don’t want 2014 to be a repeat of 2010, it’s time to pick up that phone and make a call to make sure working people in critical states turn out to vote in this election. Read more >>>
In a powerful speech given at the Missouri AFL-CIO Convention, national AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka took time to address the shooting of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown and the issues of race and class the shooting reignited in the national conversation. Trumka emphasized that racism is still a significant issue that we face not only as a country, but as a labor movement. He noted that both Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot Brown, and Lesley McSpadden, Brown's mother, are union members. Read more >>>
WHEREAS, world leaders (including President Obama) are coming to New York City on September 23 for an historic United Nations summit on climate change and Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon will call for governments to agree on an ambitious agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions before the end of 2015; and
WHEREAS, an unprecedented array of labor unions as well as groups representing climate, economic justice, environmental justice, human rights, faith, and the arts are uniting for the People’s Climate March on Sunday, September 21 under the banner “Climate Crisis + Economic Crisis” Two Crises…One Solution! ; and
WHEREAS, the rapidly changing climate is impacting union members and working communities as we experienced firsthand with the devastating impacts of Irene, as did our brothers and sisters in New York with Sandy; and
WHEREAS, we recognize that working people will suffer disproportionately from the current patterns of investment and neglect that do not prioritize good jobs, clean air, and healthy communities; and
WHEREAS, guaranteeing a Just Transition for workers and communities is a matter of elementary justice. It is unfair that workers who through no fault of their own happen to work in jobs that need to be eliminated to achieve a social good should bear the burden of that change by losing their jobs. The fight for renewable energy must include building our power to win full wages and benefits for those displaced, either for the retooling period, or if no longer needed, until retrained and/or able to find comparable work; and
WHEREAS, deepening our conversations about health and safety, on and off the job by providing space for working people to discuss our problems and develop a vision for alternatives is crucial in developing a worker-led environmental justice movement; and
WHEREAS, we must help the environmental movement emphasize a jobs program of its own, so as not to leave the jobs piece up to labor. Our labor movement should become a part of the solution to climate crisis, playing a leading role in building the movement to fight for a just transition to an ecologically sustainable society rather than leaving climate protection up to the environmental movement; and
WHEREAS, despite the terrific energy of the environmental and environmental justice movements, without the collective power of workers institutions, it will not be enough to to mitigate the effects of climate change and other ecological calamities leading to economic collapse that could well become irreversible;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, to endorse the People’s Climate March and support the demands for an ambitious, binding, and fair agreement for emission reductions, while providing for a Just Transition for all workers and communities impacted, to foster a sustainable adaptation to the effects of climate change; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, to encourage union members, and also their families and friends, to participate in the march as proud union members, to encourage participation in the events around the UN Climate Summit, and, more broadly, the movement to address the challenge of climate change.
It's pretty frustrating seeing all the headlines that claim the economy is alive and kicking. Sure, there is economic growth and a steady increase in jobs, but what kind of jobs are we talking about exactly? Well, they aren't the kind of jobs we think of first when it comes to steady, middle-class jobs. No big surprise here, low-wage service sector jobs like those in the fast-food industry are seeing the biggest gains. Bryce Covert at The New Republic has a nice summary of what America's workers are up against when it comes to wages. Read more >>>
When President Barack Obama first announced his candidacy for president, he said: “I am running in this race because of what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called ‘the fierce urgency of now.’ Because I believe that there’s such a thing as being too late. And that hour is almost upon us.” Like Dr. King, our president was calling on America to make real the promises of our democracy. That fierce urgency of now is here for thousands of refugee children from Central America. I know many of these kids’ stories because it is my story, too. Read more >>>
Below is a link that will take you to the "We The People" web site where you can sign a petition to save the Postal Service supported by the NALC, APWU and NPMHU. This is in support of Congressman Peter DeFazio's bill (HR 630), known as the "Postal Service Protection Act" (and the companion Senate bill, S-316, sponsored by Senator Bernie Sanders), which would:
prevent post offices from shutting down
Please ask your friends, family members, neighbors, Facebook "friends", etc. to show their support for the USPS by signing it.
View the documentary by clicking HERE
Training Up Down Under
In 2012, the Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) and Australia’s Plumbing Trades Employees Union (PTEU) entered into a unique affiliation agreement to combat global climate change by sharing industry best practices, particularly around alternate forms of energy generation, such as biofuels and geothermal technology. The affiliation allows for joint skills training and employment initiatives in the United States, Canada and Australia. Read the full article>>>
Vermont's leading voices for working families and the environment are united and speak with one voice when it comes to renewable in-state energy production. We, the Vermont AFL-CIO, the Vermont Building and Construction Trades Council, the Iron Workers Local 7, 350Vermont, and the Vermont Sierra Club, agree that renewable energy production is necessary if we are to become energy independent, environmentally responsible and carbon neutral.
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The Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO is the state federation of labor representing over 10,000 members in numrous unions throughout Vermont. The mission of the Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO is to improve the lives of working families—to bring economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our state and the nation.
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