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The Vermont Progressive Party State Committee met earlier this month and took positions on several issues, including climate change, homelessness and union organizing.

The party voiced opposition to a petition before the Public Utilities Commission allowing Global Foundries to become its own “self managed” utility. Doing so will essentially exempt the Essex Junction facility, the state’s largest electric user, from the emission reduction goals set by the Vermont Global Warming Solutions Act, according to the state committee.

“First of all, there is no such thing as a self-managed utility in Vermont law. And, allowing any business to be exempt from environmental standards sets a dangerous precedent that will undermine our climate change efforts. If we are going to move forward on climate we must be all in, yet, the Scott administration has signed a letter of intent supporting Global Foundries,” said Washington County Sen. Anthony Pollina, who was re-elected chairman of the party, at the meeting Nov. 6.

Progressives also voiced solidarity with efforts to address homelessness and support for advocates who had been camping on the State House steps to focus attention on the need to act quickly to provide shelter for people without safe and permanent housing.

The state committee also spoke with Vermont AFL-CIO President David VanDusen about continuing efforts to strengthen cooperation between the Progressive Party and organized labor. The party supports enacting “card check” recognition to ease the process of forming a union.

“The current union organizing process exposes workers to intimidation and retribution when seeking to unionize. Given growing inequality, given the need for higher wages and paid family medical leave it’s more important than ever to empower our workers,” said Pollina. “I am proud that the Progressive Party state committee meeting focused on important issues.”

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