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Vermont Members
Fight for Job Security,
Livable Wages For All


UE delegation at November 30th hearing
UE delegation at November 30th hearing: (from left) Brahm Muther, Pres. Local 218; Jonathan Kissam, Fin. Sec. Local 221; Bill Gould, Vice Pres. Local 234; Tom Stout, Pres. Local 267; Stan MacDonald, Vice Pres. Local 258; Bob South, Ch. Stwd. Local 234; Sharon Frechette, Fin. Sec. Local 234, Doug Whitcomb, Pres. Local 258; Heather Reimer, UE Field Organizer; Jessie Walker, Ch. Stwd. Local 258; Vern Allen, Rec. Sec. Local 258; Andrew Tripp, UE Field Organizer.

The current session of the Vermont legislature began on Jan. 4, but UE local leaders were already busy informing the legislature of their members’ needs well before the onset of the legislative season. Members have mobilized with other Vermonters around job security issues and the pitiful state of wages in our "booming" economy.

On Nov. 8 and Dec. 6, UE members packed hearings in Springfield and South Burlington held before the Job Security Commission. The commission was created by the Vermont legislature to analyze issues concerning job security and to report back to the legislature. UE and other union members told their stories of downsizing, layoffs and subcontracting.


And on Nov. 30, UE members joined more than 250 other Vermonters to let the Study Commission on a Livable Income know that the minimum wage is not a living wage. Doug Whitcomb, president of UE Local 258, testified that, "The latest reports once again show that the economy is strong, but let me tell you that all is not rosy on the low side of the income brackets. As the rich get richer and the large corporations prosper, the workers are being left behind. We see our lives being compromised for the sake of the almighty dollar. It’s time that we must once again make ourselves heard in order to receive our fair share of the the pie."

During the five hours of testimony, only two people spoke against raising the minimum wage — both paid corporate consultants.

Rank-and-file UE members are planning a state political action day in the spring during the legislative session.

UE News - 01/00

Home -> UE News -> 2000 Archives -> Article

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