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Letter to the editor: General workers’ strike would send message to leaders

Since 1980 we have endured eleven partial government shutdowns and the resulting waste of our taxes. This government shutdown affects 800,000 federal workers who are not receiving pay and Vermont farmers who are not receiving support payments. The Trump administration holds disdain for the people who keep this country running, who provide services, produce our food and create the economic strength of the nation. We need enlightened, more humane government, which we can achieve with a nation-wide general strike by America’s workers.
The wealthy, the corporations, the government derive their wealth and power from the workers. If the workers of this country implement a general strike, the effects on the government and the corporations would be immediate. Transportation, construction, food production, fuel distribution, manufacturing, electricity, road maintenance, medical care, schools, sanitation — all would stop. Government officials and corporations would understand the meaning of “shutdown”; they would understand who actually holds power in this nation.
The government and corporations would have to recognize the needs of all of the working people: job security, a living wage, universal health care, universal early childhood education and child care, paid family leave, sick leave, vacations, free college education, the right to form unions and collectively bargain.
Currently the wealthiest one percent of Americans possesses more money than ninety percent of the workers who sustain our nation. With a general workers’ strike, that reality would change and a new paradigm would emerge: we would become a more democratic, humane and equitable nation.
Millard Cox
Ripton

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