Vermont Business Magazine A coalition of labor, racial justice, and environmental organizations are holding a series of worker solidarity actions to celebrate International Workers Day on May 1. Promoters of events say it will include speakers at the State House who will lift up efforts to protect state employee pensions, protect workers’ rights through legislation such as the PRO Act and Card Check, pass universal healthcare, advance racial equity and more. A subsequent rally at the Hannaford Supermarket will pressure the grocery chain to protect farmworker rights by joining the Milk with Dignity program.
When and Where: Saturday, May 1st
12:15pm: Rally in front of Vermont State House, Montpelier, VT
2pm: Worker action at Hannaford Supermarkets, Barre, VT
The current list of sponsors includes: Rights & Democracy, Vermont AFL-CIO, Vermont-NEA, VSEA, 350 VT, Migrant Justice, the Black Perspective, VT Workers' Center, the Champlain Valley and Central Vermont DSA Chapters, Planned Parenthood Vermont Action Fund, Community Voices for Immigrant Rights, United Academics UVM/AFT, AFSCME Locals 490, 201, 1674, 2413, 3977, and the Will Miller Social Justice Lecture Series. More organizations are expected to sponsor prior to the event.
Uriel Calvo, dairy worker and Migrant Justice member: “Farmworkers have worked through the pandemic, keeping Vermont’s dairy industry alive. But too many of us are making poverty wages, working seven days a week without rest, and living in inhumane conditions. Companies like Hannaford get rich selling dairy products, but the cows don’t milk themselves. Hannaford needs to join Milk with Dignity to protect our human rights.”
Liz Medina, Executive Director of the Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO: “Working people, despite all of their sacrifices throughout this pandemic, continue to be marginalized in their own workplaces and government. It’s no coincidence that inequality has soared as union membership has declined. Corporate lobbyists have eviscerated labor law for decades and many of our elected leaders have failed to put people over profits. It’s long past time to give power back to working people! On behalf of our 10,000 members and all working people, the VT AFL-CIO is gathering on May Day to demand that Congress pass the PRO Act and our Vermont General Assembly pass card check elections (H.308 and S.131)!”
Kiah Morris, Vermont Movement Politics Director, Rights & Democracy: “ALL Vermont workers deserve access to dignified, living wage jobs with benefits - like paid time off, sick and family leave, comprehensive health coverage, and retirement benefits. We know that currently, Vermont womxn, BIPOC and immigrant workers disproportionately make lower wages with worse benefits, and that this is compounded when these identities intersect. Rights & Democracy stands with all Vermont workers, and we are committed to fighting for policy changes to address these inequities and building grassroots power to win a just and thriving future built around a good jobs guarantee.”
For the most updated information, see the facebook event.