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-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....
Fifty-five years ago, in a speech to the convention of the Illinois AFL-CIO, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. laid out with characteristic moral clarity the essential role of unions in American life. “The labor movement,” he explained, “was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress … [When] the wave of union organization crested over the nation, it carried to secure shores not only itself but the whole society. Civilization began to grow in the economic life of man, and a decent life with a sense of security and dignity became a reality rather than a distant dream.”

Half a century after Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act, labor advocates say the agency in charge of enforcing the landmark law is failing to protect American workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Half a century after Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act, labor advocates say the agency in charge of enforcing the landmark law is failing to protect American workers during the coronavirus pandemic. "We lag behind the rest of the world when it comes to health and safety on the job," AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said this week in a conference call. "OSHA has been absent."

Read the full article in CBS News.

“The AFL-CIO is joining this lawsuit to force the Trump administration to do what it should have done months ago — protect American workers by dramatically increasing the supply of the PPE they need to work safely during this pandemic,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a news release. “The failure to do so is immoral and inexcusable, and we demand action now.

Read the full article in Mass Device.

The GOP Trump administration’s massive job safety and health deregulation and its lack of enforcement have worsened the toll of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., the AFL-CIO says. In a Zoom press conference on Death On The Job 2020, the federation’s 29th annual report on job safety and health, federation President Richard Trumka blamed GOP Oval Office occupant Donald Trump for that. He said Trump left “millions vulnerable to infection, and in far too many cases, death.”

The complaint is another sign of the frustration over the treatment of workers under the Trump administration, and it places the United States in the realm of potential wrongdoing typically occupied by less-developed and less-democratic countries. “Covid has laid bare what we already knew,” Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO said in an interview. “It has demonstrated that not only is the U.S. violating workers’ rights, but those violations are resulting in people dying. It became so outrageous that we wanted to file a complaint.”