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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.

President Biden proved once again he’s a champion of his own workforce. AFGE members asked Biden to revoke a memo former President Trump had issued in January 2020 that gave the secretary of defense, or their designee, the authority to eliminate collective bargaining rights for civilian workers in the Defense Department (DoD). Biden answered the call, revoking Trump’s memo on Feb. 24 of this year.

“He got it,” Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, said of Biden. “Many times you go into meetings like that and you have to start with the basics about why collective bargaining is important, and then you get to the end, and they still really don’t get it,” Trumka, whose organization represents the largest federation of labor unions in the United States, said in a phone interview today. “None of that was necessary with him. He already had that going in. So we talked about solutions.

If you’ve never had to make coffee for your boss, it’s thanks to women who organized in the 1970s. And while the electric typewriter is no more, how women of that era organized is relevant—to current battles like organizing big tech, building care infrastructure, and winning labor reform by passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act—so women can form and join unions now without fear. So if we’re going to learn anything from history, it’s this: We need labor empowerment laws for the 21st century.

A week after releasing the most pro-union statement from a president in decades, President Biden issued a statement of administration policy today that strongly supports the passage of the PRO Act. The administration recognizes that the right to organize a union is a fundamental building block of the American Dream. Passing the PRO Act would strengthen and expand working people’s ability to form and join unions.

Anti-Asian racism has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Working people condemn this vile behavior as a stain on our nation. We will continue to fight these injustices.

“We’re at a crossroads. Inaction will only worsen the suffering that working people have weathered over the past year,” said Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO. “But if we commit to rebuilding our communities on an unprecedented scale, we can get through this crisis stronger than before.”

Read the full article in The Los Angeles Times.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is using the president’s new message to advocate for the swift passage of Democrats’ Protecting the Right to Organize Act. If passed, the measure would be the first bill to overhaul labor rights since the Taft-Hartley amendments of 1947 to the National Labor Relations Act, which outlawed some organizing tactics and allowed states to enact right-to-work laws. The new bill, among other things, would extend collective bargaining rights to gig workers, overturn state right to work laws, and allow the federal labor board to levy penalties against companies who violate federal labor law. Biden, Trumka wrote in a Monday statement, “has proven he’s willing to speak out and stand with us. Now it’s time to follow words with action.”

Read the full article in Politico.

In a statement last night, President Biden issued an unprecedented call to action for working people across the country to exercise our right to form unions. “Unions lift up workers, both union and non-union, but especially Black and Brown workers. I made it clear—I made it clear when I was running—that my administration’s policy would be to support unions organizing and the right to collectively bargain. I am keeping that promise,” Biden said plainly.