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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.

In April 2020, after the labor market took its largest one-month hit in modern history, Black men and women suffered job losses proportionate to those of white women. Still, their losses were far less severe than those of Hispanic men and women. Black workers already had higher unemployment rates, as has always been the case, but their unemployment rates did not skyrocket as much as other groups.

The nation watched earlier this year as heroic warehouse workers at the Amazon facility in Bessemer, Alabama, made history.

Despite intense pressure, intimidation and bullying by one of the largest corporations in the world, they fought to reclaim their fair share of power and form a union. They spoke out about an experience familiar to so many working people—the stress of being overworked, underpaid, and afraid for the future.

This week, the AFL-CIO is leading a PRO Act Week of Action, part of the labor movement’s national campaign urging senators to pass this transformative labor law reform. This week of action includes at least one event near every U.S. senator’s office.

In April 2020, after the labor market took its largest one-month hit in modern history, Black men and women suffered job losses proportionate to those of white women. Still, their losses were far less severe than those of Hispanic men and women. Black workers already had higher unemployment rates, as has always been the case, but their unemployment rates did not skyrocket as much as other groups.

This month, Union Plus launched a new Retiree Healthcare Program in partnership with Anthem and the AFL-CIO Mutual Benefit Trust.

Union Plus and the AFL-CIO are proud of this innovative program that provides comprehensive health care options to Medicare-eligible retirees through two Anthem BlueCross and BlueShield group Medicare Advantage plans designed exclusively for retired union members (and their spouses/partners). These group plans feature enhanced benefits compared to what members could purchase for themselves through the individual insurance market.

2020’s growth in pay inequity between workers and CEOs confirms the “executive base salary reductions” touted during the COVID-19 crisis were just lip service, per this year’s AFL-CIO Executive Paywatch report, which was unveiled this morning by AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler (IBEW).

Union Plus offers a variety of hardship benefits to union members and our families, including grants for eligible union members who participate in certain Union Plus programs. An expansion of hardship benefits took effect on July 1, 2021. The trustees for the AFL-CIO Mutual Benefit Fund updated hardship grant eligibility for job loss, furlough, strike, disability, hospital and disaster relief to have a greater positive impact on union families.

Relying on their respective faiths that mandate justice for working people, more than 390 religious leaders have joined together to support the PRO Act. At a news conference yesterday, the members of the Interreligious Network for Worker Solidarity presented a national letter calling for this landmark labor law reform.