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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.

As walkouts by teachers protesting low pay and education funding shortfalls spread across the country, the small but growing movement to recruit teachers from overseas is another sign of the difficulty some districts are having providing the basics to public school students.

Never before has there been so much labor unrest in America’s public schools. Teachers, understandably angry about low pay and harmful cuts in education resources, have organized statewide walkouts in West Virginia, Kentucky and Oklahoma.

S.53 is going to once again need the support of Vermonters like you to let Montpelier know that universal access to primary care is important to us.

When we fail to invest in public services, living standards decline and communities suffer — overcrowded classrooms, understaffed prisons and more.

But let’s remember what originally made public-sector jobs middle class: labor unions. The right to bargain collectively has allowed millions of public service workers like my father, a Cleveland bus driver and a member of the Amalgamated Transit Union, to live the American dream.

In any business, the people who do the work deserve to have a voice in their working conditions.

When we kiss our loved ones’ goodbye to head to work, we don’t expect tragedy. Saturday is Workers Memorial Day, a time for all of us to remember those who went to work but unfortunately never returned home because they lost their lives while on the job. It’s also a day to remember that we must keep fighting for safe workplaces and continue to fight short cuts that lawmakers are pursuing as they turn back the clock on health and safety regulations in Congress.

Harvard research and teaching assistants' vote to unionize last week was unique in its scale and drew on a decades-long push to form graduate student unions, according to several labor experts and union organizers.

UPDATE April 24, 2018: The House Health Care Committee will be voting up or down on S.53 on Wednesday, April 25th at 10:30am. Contact the committee members today to tell them you support Universal Access to Primary Care!