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VT AFL-CIO Endorses Workers' Rights Amendment (PR. 3)

Liz Medina
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Union members and representatives pose on a State House Stairway in support of the Workers' Rights Amendment, PR. 3, after giving testimony.

Pictured above from left to right are Aimee Towne, State Employees, VSEA; Alex Potvin, Pipefitters, UA 693; Charles Rossell, Carpenters, UBC; Michael Rossi, Roofers & Waterproofers; Larry Moquin, Laborers, LiUNA 668; Chris Tedford, Bricklayers; Kim Hokanson, Carpenters, UBC 349/352; Jean Goodwin, Carpenters, UBC 349/352.


On March 11th, 2024, the VT AFL-CIO Executive Board unanimously endorsed the Workers' Rights Amendment, PR. 3

Board members expressed the need to protect workers' rights from future attacks.

Discussed were the devastating effects of so-called "Right-to-Work" -- a law that makes union dues optional at unionized workplaces, despite being covered by a collective bargaining agreement and the requirement that unions still offer non-dues paying workers service and representation. States have been allowed to pass right-to-work laws since the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947.

At a hearing on February 21st, Larry Moquin shared the following disturbing statistics in right-to-work states:

  • "Five of the nine [right-to-work compared] states paid the federal minimum wage....Vermont has an uninsured population of 3.7%. Of the nine right-to-work states [compared]...Nebraska has the lowest of 7.1% uninsured and Oklahoma had the highest with 13.8% uninsured. Infant mortality rate: Vermont rates number one with an infant mortality rate of less than 1%. The nine [right-to-work] states we compared rates with are as low as 5.47% in Arizona to a staggering high of 9.93% in Mississippi...Poverty rates, nine out of nine [right-to-work] states [compared] have a higher poverty rate than Vermont. Vermont stands at 10.3% poverty rate. While Nebraska, again, has the lowest poverty rate of the nine at 10.9% and Mississippi has the highest poverty rate at 19.4%."

This is just a sampling of the statistics shared demonstrating the strong correlation between workers' rights and quality-of-life. You can listen to the full hearing here and here.