Vermont. May 27. 2020. Last week I, as Vermont AFL-CIO President, talked with WGDR’s Carl Etnier (a UAW member) about COVID-19, the health concerns of Early Childhood Educators, the fight of Burlington City workers (AFSCME) to defend their pay and benefits (while not suffering layoffs), the need to rebuild the economy through a more directly democratic Green New Deal, and Labor’s support for Progressive David Zuckerman for Governor.
It is beyond the pale that while we continue to struggle and suffer during the pandemic, that the elite and many politicians are calling for cuts to social spending, the closing of colleges, for workers to lose their jobs or suffer wage & benefit reductions, and for the wealthy among us to continue benefiting from the massive tax cuts reaped under the Trump Administration. All the while tens-of-thousands of Vermonters are out of work (40 million across the Nation). Thousands are already lining up at Vermont National Guard bread lines! And yet the rich, and too many politicians who they wield influence over, want to protect their comfort and privilege by asking YOU to tighten YOUR belt. The Vermont AFL-CIO rejects this basic premise!
Union Members: The Coronacrisis has laid bare the short comings of our old social system. We cannot go back to a status quo whereby ALL workers do not earn a livable wage, have healthcare, paid family medical leave, enough paid sick days, free college tuition for their children, and wherein we suffer a deficit of democratic political power despite constituting the GREAT majority of the people.
No my friends, we KNOW that the status quo that is the past is not good enough. Instead of austerity we must demand an economic recovery through a progressively funded, Union based, directly democratic Green New Deal; one funded by requiring the rich and the corporations to pay what is owed. This is what the Vermont AFL-CIO is fighting for and this is what we call on working class unity around in the days, weeks, and months ahead.
I spoke to these issues on WGDR (and more).
AND KNOW THAT UNITED WE ARE UNION STRONG!
Listen to the WGDR interview With VT AFL-CIO President David Van Deusen:
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