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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.
A New Path Towards Progressive Change For Labor Organized Labor has been the most powerful force for change in the History of the United States of America. From the 8 hour day/40 hour work week, the establishment of the weekend, livable wages (in Union shops), to workplace safety standards; Labor has won these foundational victories through collective action and solidarity. However, for some decades Labor, nationally, has been on the decline...We can (and must) be a social and political power once again; one capable not only of defending against the attacks we now face from DC, but also of going on the offensive and delivering positive life altering changes for working people. But we will not achieve our potential if we stay on the road more traveled....
Fifty-five years ago, in a speech to the convention of the Illinois AFL-CIO, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. laid out with characteristic moral clarity the essential role of unions in American life. “The labor movement,” he explained, “was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress … [When] the wave of union organization crested over the nation, it carried to secure shores not only itself but the whole society. Civilization began to grow in the economic life of man, and a decent life with a sense of security and dignity became a reality rather than a distant dream.”

BECOME A PAID UNION VOLUNTEER

The Green Mountain Labor Council (GMLC) will pay union members to canvass and phone bank for labor supported political candidates. If members can take the time to work to support labor supported candidates by canvassing and calling our own union members the GMLC would pay you $20/hour for canvassing and $15 an hour for phone banking. We would mentor you, partner you up, and supply you with lists of union members to connect with. To volunteer contact Traven at 802-522-3484 or email [email protected].

AFL-CIO president, Richard Trumka, published a new column on Huffington Post. He writes how Hillary roots for working people and why working people are championing her in tonight's presidential debate.

One night at his UPS job, Tefere Gebre's co-worker handed him some union material. 

“He told me that I’d get health care and vacation and other benefits by filling it out. I said, ‘Are you serious?’ I thought, ‘Hmm. Everyone should have that.’”

Tefere, the executive vice president of the AFL-CIO, has been a proud union member for most of his life, valuing the freedom of people to come together in union.

Growing up in rural Kentucky, Augusta Thomas witnessed the extreme measures elected officials would take to prevent African-American men from voting.
Culinary worker Brittany Bronson talks not only about the benefits of joining her union, but also about the opportunities being part of a unionized workforce offer women, particularly women who have long careers in the workforce.

Anniversaries can be celebratory or somber. Today we celebrate the 51st anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and it is the kind of anniversary in which we hail the success of the act, while also acknowledging the deficiencies in our democracy that make the full act necessary.