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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.

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.

Stuart Appelbaum, president of the RWDSU, thanked Biden for his support of the organizing drive. He said in statement, "As President Biden points out, the best way for working people to protect themselves and their families is by organizing into unions. And that is why so many working women and men are fighting for a union at the Amazon facility in Bessemer, Alabama." Appelbaum told NPR in January that the Bessemer warehouse workers wanted to join a union over concerns with grueling productivity quotas and wanted more input on workplace policies.

This afternoon, leaders of the labor movement gathered at the White House to meet with President Biden and Vice President Harris about our shared goal of revitalizing America’s infrastructure.

United Steelworkers (USW) member Jessica Hartung has a lot on her shoulders, but her load has been lightened by one thing in particular—her debt-free college degree. “I’m a single mom, with an autistic son. I have a full-time job, and COVID-19 has changed so much stuff,” said Hartung (not pictured). Despite her range of nonstop responsibilities, it has always been important to her to finish her college degree. For her, the most significant obstacle was the cost.

On Monday in Alabama, more than 5,800 of them will be able to vote on whether to become the first Amazon warehouse in the United States to unionize. "Now it's our turn to be a disruptor," said Elizabeth Shuler, secretary-treasurer and second highest-ranking officer of the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of unions in the United States. It's a big day for the AFL-CIO. Not only is it providing guidance to the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which is organizing the Amazon warehouse workers.