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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.

The president of the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest federation of unions, praised President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D) for secretary of Labor, calling the mayor an “exceptional” choice. “Boston Mayor Marty Walsh will be an exceptional Labor secretary for the same reason he was an outstanding mayor: he carried the tools.

Prominent union leaders of the AFL-CIO and United Auto Workers are publicly condemning President Donald Trump’s supporters for storming the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called it “one of the greatest assaults on our democracy since the Civil War.” 

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The Labor Department on Wednesday released the final version of a rule that could classify millions of workers in industries like construction, cleaning and the gig economy as contractors rather than employees, another step under the Trump administration toward endorsing the business practices of companies like Uber and Lyft. Companies don’t have to pay contractors a minimum wage or overtime and don’t have to pay a share of contractors’ Social Security taxes or contribute to unemployment insurance on their behalf.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said: “Instead of increasing lifesaving measures aimed at protecting working people at our workplaces, the Trump administration consistently rolled back existing safety and health rules and has failed to move forward on any new safety and health protections. We look forward to working with the new administration to strengthen job safety protections and enforcement; rebuild workplace safety agencies; and prevent worker deaths, injuries and disease.”

This past fall, Transport Workers Union (TWU) member Gregory Harasym began a master’s program in city and regional planning with a concentration in transportation. He intends to examine alternative transportation methods to address community-level health and social injustices; and he hopes to eventually be a specialist in this field, focusing on policy for the Department of Transportation. His career direction changed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which deeply impacted his community and left him passionate about helping communities become resilient to future disasters.

Transportation industry groups and unions were quick to applaud the selection of Pete Buttigieg as President-elect Joe Biden’s nomine

Tony Lein, a member of the Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 95 in Chicago, is among the 2020 Union Plus Scholarship award winners. He is a firefighter/paramedic and peer fitness trainer with the Oak Park [Illinois] Fire Department, where he has worked since 2015. He also teaches American Heart Association CPR classes with Save-A-Life. Lein was awarded a $4,000 scholarship as he pursues a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling.

The United States has the sad distinction of having the most confirmed coronavirus cases and death in the world, which has kept many schools shuttered for instruction in person. Parents and educators know that our children do best at schools, where they can get support, and they worry that the lack of learning in person has hurt students in need.