Workers Win

In a victory for workers in Amherst, hundreds of people will get to keep their jobs. The workers used rallies and a petition to beat back their boss's layoff plans. They work at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The workers are union members. They have a web site at www.MassTeacher.org. The victory came on September 15.

By going on strike, workers created the middle class in the 1930s. As the percentage of workers who had a union grew, equality increased. That's according to:

www.epi.org/blog/union-decline-rising-inequality-charts

Starting in the 1950s and continuing until now, bosses got better at fighting unions and inequality increased. Victories like the one on September 15, and a successful 10 day strike by thousands of Stop & Shop workers last year in the Valley, are a sign that unions might be regaining power.

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In Brattleboro and surrounding towns on September 21 people can start voting for Trump, Biden, and other politicians. The current Vermont governor, Phil Scott, is a Republican. He's running against Democrat David Zuckerman, who has been endorsed by the AFL-CIO and the Sierra Club.

Scott vetoed increases in the minimum wage in 2018 and this year.

On September 15, Scott vetoed legislation designed to fight global warming. The Democrat-controlled legislature will soon vote on whether to over-ride the veto.

Protecting farmland and forestland from development is one of the best ways to fight climate change. In small, rural towns in Europe, many people live car-free. Almost everyone there lives in the kind of multi-family housing found in downtown Northampton and Brattleboro, and can walk to a train station. In New York City, millionaires live in apartments.

Here in the Valley, there are half a dozen land trusts working to protect open space. Links to their web site are at www.LandTrustAlliance.org.

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