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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.

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.

Today, the AFL-CIO and GBAO released a nationwide poll of registered voters that found more than three-quarters of Americans support workers’ efforts to organize a union at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. The findings come days after voting closed in the organizing drive and demonstrate a significant rise in public support.

“This suite of target date CIT funds is a welcome addition to the lineup of financial products which carry the AFL-CIO name,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “Defined benefit plans remain the bedrock of a secure retirement. However, the Labor Movement’s philosophy that all Americans are entitled to retire with dignity and financial security dictates that we must also ensure that defined contribution investors’ interests are protected. This product provides a cost-effective solution that brings this proposition to life.

“Millions of workers still do not have the strong COVID-19 protections they need to be safe at work. Marty Walsh’s strong leadership will be needed to urgently issue a strong, comprehensive OSHA COVID-19 emergency temporary standard to set workplace safety rules, accompanied by strong enforcement to ensure workers are protected,” said Rebecca Reindel, the AFL-CIO’s safety and health director. Reindel said new rules and strong enforcement are “essential to President Biden’s promise to protect workers from COVID-19.”

An important meeting was held Thursday at the White House as the first female vice president, Kamala Harris, gathered with women labor leaders. The vice president called together the small group to discuss tackling the pandemic, creating an equitable recovery and getting women back to work.

Last week, President Joe Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion investment in our country’s recovery and future success. AFL-CIO affiliate unions released a flurry of statements praising the bill’s enactment and highlighting how the American Rescue Plan will help our members.