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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 executive council of the AFL-CIO held a special meeting last week to name their next leader, following the death of the labor federation’s longtime president, Richard Trumka. For the first time in the organization’s history, they chose a woman. Liz Shuler, 51, had served as the federation’s second-in-command under Trumka since they were elected together in 2009. Despite the sad and unusual circumstances of the succession ― Trumka died on Aug.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to proceed with President Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget resolution, along with the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The Build Back Better agenda contains many of the labor movement’s priorities, including growing Medicare, expanding sick leave and child care, increasing investments in education and combating climate change. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act will expand voting rights across the country.

The first woman to lead the biggest U.S. labor federation wants even more women as decision-makers in a labor movement that is becoming less male and less white.

NPR's Michel Martin speaks with Liz Shuler, the newly elected president of the AFL-CIO, about her goals for the organization and the future of the labor movement.

Listen to the segment on NPR.

Newly elected AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler discusses the future of the labor movement.

Watch the segment on Bloomberg.

The AFL-CIO Executive Council today elected Liz Shuler, a visionary leader and longtime trade unionist, to serve as president of the federation of 56 unions and 12.5 million members. Shuler is the first woman to hold the office in the history of the labor federation. The Executive Council also elected United Steelworkers (USW) International Vice President Fred Redmond to succeed Shuler as secretary-treasurer, the first African American to hold the number two office. Tefere Gebre will continue as executive vice president, rounding out the most diverse team of officers ever to lead the AFL-CIO.

On the morning of August 5, the nation, the American labor movement, and workers across the globe were rocked by the sudden, unexpected loss of a great man, an incredible leader, and a lifetime fighter for justice, AFL-CIO President Richard Louis Trumka, or “it’s just Rich” as he would so often correct anyone opting for the more formal greeting. 

Our brother and leader Richard Trumka passed away on August 5, 2021, at the age of 72.

The labor movement, the AFL-CIO and the nation lost a legend. Rich devoted his life to working people, from his early days as president of the United Mine Workers of America to his unparalleled leadership as the voice of America’s labor movement.

He was a relentless champion of workers’ rights, workplace safety, worker-centered trade, democracy and so much more. He was also a devoted father, grandfather, husband, brother, coach, colleague and friend. Rich was loved and beloved.