While full-time employment was the standard of work for so many in our parents’ generation, today the entire economy is being restructured towards increasingly contingent and precarious work, with grave consequences for working families.
By contracting “independent” workers as temps, freelancers, or contractors instead of employing them, companies are able to sidestep their legal requirements to provide needed benefits like workers’ compensation, health insurance, unemployment insurance, retirement plans. In addition to shifting the cost of healthcare and parenthood to workers and the public, this new arrangement prevents workers from standing up against dangerous conditions, wage theft, erratic scheduling, sexual harassment, and interference in worker organizing.
Unfortunately, Vermont is no exception to this trend. Right now in Montpelier, many legislators, Republicans and Democrats alike, are advancing a bill, H.867, which would gut key tests for workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance and pave the way for employers to classify workers as independent contractors, accelerating the trend towards precarious and low-wage work in many sectors of our economy.
Employers cannot be allowed to dodge their responsibility to workers’ rights through these loose contingent arrangements. Our new economy demands a new formula, where workers are organized to ensure their rights in the workplace, and where health care and social insurance are provided as universal public goods, like our roads and fire departments.
Join us to take action for work with dignity in Vermont:
Call the Sgt at Arms at 802-828-2228 and leave a message for your legislator to vote no on the misclassification bill, H.867 -- Find your legislator here.
Contact your local organizing committee to join a canvassing team with our new inequality survey
Join us at the Vermont People’s Convention & Just Transition Assembly on May Day weekend at Montpelier High School (Details here)