Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO

 

-Self Determination For Black People In The U.S.; -Free All Black Political Prisoners; -The Murders Must Be Stopped; -Black Lives Matter. Vermont AFL-CIO Position Statement On The Fight Against Racism: Now Is The Time For Unity & Action! June 28, 2020, Montpelier, VT - Black Lives Matter. The Vermont AFL-CIO understands and recognizes that the United States of America is a nation which has long been governed by a ruling class whose power (social and economic) is rooted in slavery, racism, inequity, and oppression. We further see with clear eyes that Black people, whose ancestors were brought to this country in chains, have suffered (and continue to suffer) oppression on a massive and inexcusable scale. Such facts are made plain by not only looking at history, but also by looking at contemporary unemployment figures, poverty rates, average household income, incarceration rates, and through policing data. People who are Black are also murdered by American police officers with sickening regularity. George Floyd was not an exception. He, like Breonna Taylor, Michael Brown, Terence Crutcher, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray (to name but a few), was one of the latest in a long line of martyrs going back hundreds of years (and accounting for thousands of taken lives). We must not become numb to these murders. We cannot accept that Black families must educate their children on how to not become the target of unprovoked police violence. We cannot allow systematic racism and police violence against Black people to continue as the regularity that it has always been. Rather, we must resist.
A New Path Towards Progressive Change For Labor Organized Labor has been the most powerful force for change in the History of the United States of America. From the 8 hour day/40 hour work week, the establishment of the weekend, livable wages (in Union shops), to workplace safety standards; Labor has won these foundational victories through collective action and solidarity. However, for some decades Labor, nationally, has been on the decline...We can (and must) be a social and political power once again; one capable not only of defending against the attacks we now face from DC, but also of going on the offensive and delivering positive life altering changes for working people. But we will not achieve our potential if we stay on the road more traveled....

Union workers from across Vermont rallied against potential job cuts for city employees atop a parking garage in Burlington Tuesday evening. 

Thousands of working people across the country joined together on June 17 in a national day of action. We called for the Senate to pass the HEROES Act and for Congress to take actions to address structural racism. The HEROES Act is grounded in America’s Five Economic Essentials that are desperately needed to keep working people safe and financially secure. This day of action was just the beginning. Today and every day that follows, working people will mobilize like never before to make the HEROES Act the law of the land and rid our institutions of systemic racism.

Recent News

More than three years after taking office, the administration has never filled the job running the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is charged with enforcing workplace safety laws. The $560 million-a-year agency, whose estimated 2,000 inspectors performed 32,020 on-site inspections in 2018, spent months not doing any in-person inspections related to coronavirus, other than in hospitals, said Rebecca Reindel, director of occupational safety and health for the AFL-CIO.

Take Action

Building Our $15 and a Union Now Movement

Whereas: There has been remarkable growth in the Fight for $15 movement since it was started by fast food workers in New York City in November of 2012, and 

Whereas: Observing that the movement to raise pay for workers, boost their purchasing power, and strengthen the economy has taken root in communities across United States and around the world, and 

Whereas: Recognizing that this movement is growing to include underpaid workers across the service sector such as grocery store workers, home care workers, hospital workers, adjunct professors, airport workers and others, and 

Whereas: Recognizing that other unions, faith organizations, student organizations, and community organizations are increasingly joining with us in a Fight for $15 movement, and 

Whereas: More and more workers are starting to fight for and win concrete victories, such as the $15/hour minimum wage in Seattle, and

Whereas: The power of organized labor is needed for low wage workers to win livable wages and the power and respect that comes through union organization.

Therefore, be it resolved: That the Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO will commit resources, and urge and its member unions and membership, to commit resources to a $15 and a Union Now movement based on organized union power by vigorously supporting the fight of the City Market workers of UE Local 203 for an immediate minimum wage of $15.

Stand in solidarity with families going hungry by pledging to fast on August 11 and calling on the Senate to provide much needed relief for laid off workers.