Hundreds Attend Vigils to Protest State Budget Cuts

feb2-0.jpg Hundreds of Vermonters gathered in fourteen locations around the state yesterday to send a strong message to the Douglas administration not to cut jobs or services. The vigils were organized by Save Our State, along with the Workers' Center. See the Workers' Center's position on the budget cuts.

Following the vigils, over a dozen Workers' Center members met Governor Douglas at the airport late last night (his plane was late, but in the Channel 5 news you'll see that our wait paid off).

Fletcher Allen Techs Need Your Support

Almost 600 hospital technicians at Fletcher Allen Health Care (FAHC) are organizing to form a union, as the nurses did back in 2002. The techs and nurses are now calling on FAHC Administration to recognize their right to organize and not waste thousands of healthcare dollars on an expensive anti-union campaign. Since they formed a union in 2002 they have improved their working conditions to such a degree that what was a critical nursing shortage virtually disappeared. The union simply made the hospital a better place to work.

VWC Statement on Budget Cuts

No one doubts that we are living through difficult economic times. For many working-class Vermonters, the current economic crisis is simply an intensification of the long crisis that we have been experiencing long before the recent financial meltdown. For the last several decades, there has been a shift in government and public policy towards helping the rich get richer at the expense of working people.

Human Rights Conference Draws 500 Participants

Conference AttendeesBurlington - Five hundred people participated in the day-long Ella Baker Human Rights Conference held on Dec 13, 2008. The conference was organized by the Vermont Workers' Center and sponsored by forty-three other organizations. [ Video of the main speakers, and more photos ]

Excerpts of Closing Remarks - James Haslam, Vermont Workers' Center

First off, I just have to say thank you to all the people who worked with us to make this event happen. We are very excited about the incredible broad-range of groups who came together for this event, many of these groups and individuals we have worked with for years, and many new groups and new faces, who we are just now getting to know and build relationships with.

170+ Attend VWC Workshops on Anti-racism & Building A Social Justice Movement

catalyst_barre.jpgFrom October 25 - November 2nd the Vermont Workers' Center held seven workshops around the state on Anti-racism & Building A Social Justice Movement with trainers from the Catalyst Project. Participants included high school and college students, teachers, union leaders, state employees, retirees, Americorp volunteers and Vermont non-profit staff. Here's what one participant sent us:

Presidential debate on healthcare as a right or commodity

From our allies at the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI):

Last night's presidential debate addressed the key issue for health care reform in the United States: do candidates see health care as a right or as a commodity? [ NY Times Coverage ]

"I think it should be a right for every American." This was Senator Obama's answer.

Healthcare System Put on Trial In Brattleboro

Brattleboro Human Rights HearingBrattleboro, VT — On the evening of September 25th more than fifty Brattleboro residents came to St. Michaels Episcopal Church to participate in the first Human Rights Hearing on Healhcare. This was the first of a series of hearings to be held throughout the state as part of the Vermont Workers' Center's new Healthcare Is A Human Right Campaign.

Livable Wage Victory for Burlington Food Service & Custodial Workers

Edmunds Food Service Button DayBurlington, VT – After a three and a half year campaign, Burlington school food service and custodial worker of AFSCME Local 1343 won an agreement that will bring its all of its members up to a livable wage by the end of the contract. This agreement is being celebrated as a ground-breaking victory. This is the second livable wage victory in less then a year, last fall the Burlington para-educators had the first livable wage victory in the Burlington Schools.