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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 American Jobs Plan is not threatened by America’s labor movement. It is strengthened by us and the inclusion of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.

Let’s clarify a few points. First, the PRO Act will not “force Americans” into anything. Instead, it will give workers the choice to form a union through a free and fair election. That’s not a power grab—just workplace democracy.

As the president of the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE), I lead a coalition of 24 national unions representing more than four million professionals. Through bargaining for pay, benefits, and working conditions, our affiliates’ members have created sustainable, family-supporting careers in their industries. While these workplace improvements have raised standards for all professionals, employees of color tend to see some of the greatest gains from union membership.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) announcement last week that fully vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks or socially distance came as a great relief to millions of people who have been vaccinated. But it has also led to confusion and chaos in workplaces and other locations where vaccinated and unvaccinated people mix.

In a stark illustration of how current U.S. labor law is tilted against workers, two experts on changing it—AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler and Rep. Andy Levin, D-Mich., a former top union organizer—say the Protect The Right To Organize (Pro) Act would have basically outlawed Amazon’s high-pressure tactics that defeated the union organizing drive at its big warehouse in Bessemer, Ala.

For months, the eyes of our nation were transfixed on a small suburb near Birmingham, Ala. Warehouse workers authorized the largest union election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The name of their employer is on over 5 billion packages sent annually: Amazon.

In response to the police killing George Floyd, 15 unions that represent law enforcement officers across the US have endorsed a blueprint for policing that includes an unprecedented shift in the way unions protect bad police officers, according to a copy of the plan obtained by CNN ahead of its release this week.

This morning, American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten delivered an impassioned address calling for a rebirth of our American public schools this fall. She offered a plan for a safe and equitable return to in-person learning that was filled with solid proposals such as offering enriched summer school programs. “I truly believe we have a rare chance to see a renaissance in America.

Anthony Ngo, an AFSCME Local 2620 member, travels a long way to and from work but wouldn’t change it. He works at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla, California, where he provides psychological counseling and group therapy to inmates. “It’s a great job—great pay and benefits, and I love the staff. And my union helps us out a lot,” said Ngo.