The Citizen Wells blog covered the Senator Bernie Sanders Labor Day speech in Burlington, VT, today, Monday, September 7, 2009. The event was hosted by the Vermont Workers’ Center. Here is the announcement:
“Burlington Labor Day Celebration & Benefit Concert
September 7, 2009 – 12:00pm – 3:00pm
WHEN: 12 noon – 3pm, Monday, September 7
WHERE: Battery Park, Burlington
WHAT: Senator Bernie Sanders will join hundreds of working families for the 8th Annual Burlington Labor Day Celebration sharing in a community potluck, music, street theater and ice cream. This year’s celebration is being sponsored by the Vermont Workers’ Center, a community-based workers’ rights organization who has been building a statewide grassroots organizing campaign called the “Healthcare Is A Human Right Campaign” that over that past couple of years has been redefine healthcare as a public good. There will also be a special tribute to the contributions and struggles of working families from Jennifer Henry, the President of the Fletcher Allen nurses union and United Professions of Vermont/AFT. Music will be performed local Burlington busker John Holland and Rik & Bec, a new local duo of Rik Palieri and Rebecca Padula.
“Labor Day is a day to celebrate and remember both the work we all do day in and day out and the long struggles of working people who fought hard for the eight hour day, for Social Security, the end of child labor and even the weekend,” said James Haslam, Director of the Vermont Workers’ Center. “But more than ever, use should use Labor Day as a reminder that we need to be carrying on this tradition by organizing in our workplaces and our communities. This is a time re-commit to the current struggles for more livable wage jobs, fair retirement, strong and healthy communities, and re-defining quality healthcare as a fundamental human right for everyone.”
BACKGROUND: The Vermont Workers’ Center was started in 1998 as a workers’ rights and social justice organization, and have been involved in campaigns to improve working conditions and win livable wages in hundreds of Vermont workplaces across the state. In 2008, they launched the Healthcare Is A Human Right Campaign to build a statewide grassroots network of Vermonters committed to redefining healthcare policy to establish healthcare as a basic public good for all.
MORE INFO: www.workerscenter.org
The speech is presented here unedited and without commentary. A followup article will be presented with commentary and analysis. The only comment I will make at this time is that they appeared a little surprised that I was there and that the event had the appearance of being staged. I will also state that I was treated with courtesy for the most part.