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....

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So America today needs more than anything solidarity and human dignity — the church's core teachings. The teaching that we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers, that we are not commodities whose value is determined by a flawed and arbitrary market, but human beings, souls, created in the image of God, and each of our worth is beyond price. And it is high time our nation's laws promoted solidarity and human dignity.

Our Constitution says that after a presidential election, Congress shall meet on Jan. 6 to count the electoral votes cast for the president and vice president. It is a solemn ritual of democracy.

But it is only that — a ritual. This ceremonial custom is not how our president and vice president are chosen. They are chosen by us, the people.

Of course, President Donald Trump and senators like Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz know this. But it did not stop them from inciting an insurrection. Acting out of nothing but unprincipled ambition, they put democracy in danger.

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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.

Working people deserve real relief from COVID-19, which has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans and left millions unemployed through no fault of their own. Tell your senators now is the time for the HEROES Act.