james's blog

15 Years. $15,000 Dollar For Dollar for Donations matched until May 15th

This year marks the Vermont Workers’ Center’s 15th year of building a movement for dignity and justice. We’ve come a long way! Fifteen years ago we were just a few dozen people fighting for livable wages and now we are thousands, including you, who are committed to envisioning the world we want to live in—and realizing this vision through our collective action. Can you help us honor the past and invest in a strong future by making a special donation to the Vermont Workers’ Center?

Budget Hearings: Push for Paid Sick Days and People's Budget Bill H.763

This Monday from 4:00-6:30pm is the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations will hold a joint public hearing on Vermont Interactive Technologies (V.I.T.) to give Vermonters throughout the state an opportunity to express their views about the state budget for fiscal year 2015. All 13 V.I.T. sites will be available for the hearing: Bennington, Brattleboro, Johnson, Lyndonville, Middlebury, Montpelier, Newport, Randolph Center, Rutland, Springfield, St.

We need a different direction for the Vermont National Guard than F-35's

The debate on whether to bring the F-35 war plane to be based at Burlington Airport has often had proponents focusing on the fact that this new technology is the only way to have a future for the Vermont National Guard once the F-16 is phased out. Recent media reports indicate that there is good reason to think that this has been the focus in order to use patriotism and the public support for the Guard to push through a broader agenda that includes major airport expansion.

Open Letter to Legislators May 1, 2013

May 1, 2013

Subject: Put People First!

Dear Legislator,

Thousands of Vermont residents have descended upon the statehouse today as we have on May 1st for the past four years. Initially, we showed up to demonstrate to you that creating a healthcare system that met human rights principles was not only politically possible but the will of the people of Vermont. We have made progress in that direction. But we have also watched decisions get made, about all aspects of our lives, that do not reflect the values of our communities. Many people feel voiceless in this process.

Workers' Memorial Day 2013

This Workers' Memorial Day comes with many heavy hearts at the recent tragedies of hundreds of workers being killed in Texas and Bangladesh factories I wanted to share three articles in honor of Workers' Memorial Day in case you missed them.

On Workers Memorial Day - Pledging Action for the Human Rights of Workers
from our partners from NESRI


Workers’ Rights are Human Rights: Why We All Need Paid Sick Days

Ever since the Vermont Workers’ Center started the Workers’ Rights Hotline in 1998, we have heard from countless workers and their families about the hardship and suffering caused by the lack of paid sick days. It has become clear that the right to paid sick days is critical for the well-being of workers, their families and our communities. It is core to our human right to a safe and healthy workplace, our human right to health and healthcare, and our need to hold down a job and take care of our family at the same time.

Healthcare Is A Human Right Testimony in House Committee on Healthcare

We were asked to testify in the Vermont House of Representatives Committee on Healthcare today. Here is the text. Let's keep organizing!
Healthcare Is A Human Right Campaign
Testimony to House Committee on Healthcare
January 15, 2013

Thank you. My name is James Haslam, I am the Executive Director of the Vermont Workers’ Center. The VWC was started in 1998 and launched the Healthcare Is A Human Right Campaign in 2008 to change what was politically possible and establish a universal healthcare system.

Top 10 Reasons to Not Miss First Ever People’s Convention For Human Rights in Burlington

The People’s Convention for Human Rights is being held August 31 - September 2, 2012 in Burlington, Vermont. You should check out the website (http://vtpeoplesconvention.org/) and definitely register. There are many reasons why you will be excited to have come, but here is my top ten and their order is pretty much interchangeable. See you this weekend!