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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.

NPR's Michel Martin speaks with Liz Shuler, the newly elected president of the AFL-CIO, about her goals for the organization and the future of the labor movement.

Listen to the segment on NPR.

Newly elected AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler discusses the future of the labor movement.

Watch the segment on Bloomberg.

The AFL-CIO Executive Council today elected Liz Shuler, a visionary leader and longtime trade unionist, to serve as president of the federation of 56 unions and 12.5 million members. Shuler is the first woman to hold the office in the history of the labor federation. The Executive Council also elected United Steelworkers (USW) International Vice President Fred Redmond to succeed Shuler as secretary-treasurer, the first African American to hold the number two office. Tefere Gebre will continue as executive vice president, rounding out the most diverse team of officers ever to lead the AFL-CIO.

On the morning of August 5, the nation, the American labor movement, and workers across the globe were rocked by the sudden, unexpected loss of a great man, an incredible leader, and a lifetime fighter for justice, AFL-CIO President Richard Louis Trumka, or “it’s just Rich” as he would so often correct anyone opting for the more formal greeting. 

Our brother and leader Richard Trumka passed away on August 5, 2021, at the age of 72.

The labor movement, the AFL-CIO and the nation lost a legend. Rich devoted his life to working people, from his early days as president of the United Mine Workers of America to his unparalleled leadership as the voice of America’s labor movement.

He was a relentless champion of workers’ rights, workplace safety, worker-centered trade, democracy and so much more. He was also a devoted father, grandfather, husband, brother, coach, colleague and friend. Rich was loved and beloved.

In April 2020, after the labor market took its largest one-month hit in modern history, Black men and women suffered job losses proportionate to those of white women. Still, their losses were far less severe than those of Hispanic men and women. Black workers already had higher unemployment rates, as has always been the case, but their unemployment rates did not skyrocket as much as other groups.

The nation watched earlier this year as heroic warehouse workers at the Amazon facility in Bessemer, Alabama, made history.

Despite intense pressure, intimidation and bullying by one of the largest corporations in the world, they fought to reclaim their fair share of power and form a union. They spoke out about an experience familiar to so many working people—the stress of being overworked, underpaid, and afraid for the future.

This week, the AFL-CIO is leading a PRO Act Week of Action, part of the labor movement’s national campaign urging senators to pass this transformative labor law reform. This week of action includes at least one event near every U.S. senator’s office.