On Friday I attended the rally in Montpelier to stand in solidarity with state employees to ask the administration to accept their offer and demand that the administration stick to the bargaining process for fiscal years 2011 and 2012. The VSEA and our State employees stepped up and this administration has not cooperated. They are holding state employees hostage, wanting more cuts and wanting to put more people in the unemployment lines.
Today, the focus was on Governor Douglas and this administration, but we should not forget that the Democrat-controlled Joint Fiscal Committee put the nail in the coffin, and handed Governor Douglas the hammer. The Democrats on the Joint Fiscal Committee (excepting Mark Larson) can sit back and point to the Governor and his administration for this political impasse between the Governor and State employees, but they need to accept their own role in this. We hoped that these folks would be labor friendly and demand that the administration look for cost saving measures outside of the unemployment lines. Why wouldn’t they ask the highly paid Commissioners, Secretaries, and Managers to earn their keep and really look at ways that services could be provided and keep Vermonter’s working? After all, the employees who work for them stepped up and provided a way!
Working Vermonters should not think that this is just about state employees. This administration is setting an example using State employees. Make no mistake, this is also a sign of union busting! Cutting benefits and wages, furloughs and unpaid holidays – this must be music to corporate America’s ears! (Vermont companies included.)
Beware Vermont working class folks-you will be next. This is not just about organized labor. Other Democratically controlled committees are meeting to discuss retirement and pension plans, unemployment compensation, and workers compensation. How many working class folks, members of the general public, or labor representatives are on these committees?
How many of you have had input?
Now is the time for you to become politically active, and contact your legislators and senators to ask them what their position is on labor issues. Remember this is not just about organized labor. Don’t wait until the coffin is nailed shut, and don’t think that you won’t be next!