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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.

The U.S. Senate should pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, five human rights and labor groups said today in releasing a question-and-answer document about the issue. The groups—including Human Rights Watch, the AFL-CIO, Amnesty International USA, the Economic Policy Institute and the National Employment Law Project—called on senators to seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to tackle rampant economic inequality by empowering workers and building a more just and human rights-based economy.

Few presidents in America’s history have demonstrated a higher commitment to the labor movement than President Biden. “The truth is I’m a union president, and I make no bones about that,” he said on Saturday. “I’m committed to strengthening our unions and rebuilding the backbone of this country—the middle class.” Biden sat down with a UAW local president and talked about his administration’s policies to promote American manufacturing.

Yesterday, ahead of the Leaders Summit on Climate, the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council and BlueGreen Alliance, along with the UAW and United Steelworkers (USW), released a report highlighting the need to preserve high-paying union jobs in the U.S. auto industry as part of any equitable clean energy transition. The report reviews the economic impacts of the transition to electric vehicles as well as policy options for creating and preserving good union jobs.

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)—first passed in the 1930s—is supposed to provide workers protection from anti-union retaliation in the pursuit of organizing and collective bargaining. However, a new report from the Economic Policy Institute finds that the NLRA is no longer up to the task of protecting workers from anti-union actions by our employers.

On Tuesday, a jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd. While many in the labor movement were quick to commend the verdict, we also know that the work of racial justice must continue.

José Acevedo served in the U.S. Army before teaching high school history in New York City. After being stationed in the Panama Canal Zone from 1974 to 1977, he spent the next 30-plus years teaching ninth and tenth grade and became a member of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

On Friday, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler celebrated the House passing the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1195), which directs the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue a federal workplace violence prevention standard to protect workers in health care and social services from injury and death:

Lisa Pedersen of Revere, Massachusetts, has been a United Steelworkers (USW) member for 34 years. As “the first girl in [her] area” when she started as a gas leak investigator and repair person for the National Grid, Pedersen is used to being a leader. She is now a “working leader” at the National Grid, and her union loyalty and leadership instincts have particularly shone during the past couple of years.