Workers Win

In Vermont, February 2015 broke records for coldest temperatures ever recorded. During that month hundreds of workers stood outside on picket lines, all day, every day. They were on strike for justice. They work for the monopoly landline phone company in the state. Eventually the workers won the four month strike, and a good union contract.

In 2021, when it was time to negotiate a new union contract, the company was more reasonable. On August 9, 2021 the company and the workers' elected union leaders reached a tentative agreement. The deal will be official if workers vote to approve it.

The workers have a web site at https://cwa-union.org. There is a Facebook page that can only be seen by members of the union. According to the person who runs the Facebook page, “We were able to secure a four year contract, increased wages, job security, and many other improvements. When we fight, we win!"

In 2015 the company was called Fairpoint. Now it's called Consolidated Communications. The Illinois-based company pays its CEO $3.4 million a year.

Photos of some of the striking workers in the Brattleboro area are at:

http://valleypost.org/2014/10/25/1700-workers-strike

The workers deal with landline phones. They also provide internet service, and make cell phones work by connecting cell phone towers to landlines. The union members also work in Keene, and throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. They work in winter at the top of telephone poles in strong winds, near high voltage power lines.

In Vermont, February 2015 broke records for coldest temperatures ever recorded. Climate change means more extreme weather: heat waves, very cold spells, droughts, and floods. Overall, the average temperature is getting hotter. The biggest cause of climate change is overpopulation. Over-consumption is the other major cause.

In the USA, union workers make an average of $191 more per week, compared to workers who don't have a union. Reducing inequality is good for democracy, since billionaires buy politicians. In the Valley, all UPS and Stop and Shop workers belong to a union. That means billionaires make less money and workers make more.

Hundreds of workers at the Brattleboro Retreat mental hospital are union members. So are workers at hospitals in Greenfield, Northampton and Springfield; and at the food co-ops in Northampton, Greenfield, and Brattleboro.

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