Labor Day Rally to Support Organized Labor and Human Rights

By Christine Souders |

Published 09/01 2014 06:42PM

Updated 09/01 2014 06:55PM

BURLINGTON, Vt. - U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders stopped this holiday in Battery Park in Burlington.

That's where one of a number of labor day rallies across Vermont took place.

Union Activists stood in solidarity.

"The greatest accomplishments we have to today have been won by the labor movement," said Caroline Decunzo, UVM Student Union Member.

The weekend, the 8-hour workday, to name a few.

White collar, blue collar, or no collar at all, people from all walks of life met at Battery Park to celebrate past victories and show support for organized labor.

"This country was built on the backs of labor. It was built by people working and it's still is, although some people would like to think it's not. This is still a country of working people," said Jim Fouts, a member of Vermont Workers Center and CCTA Bus Driver.

He went on strike last March. Bus service was shut down for weeks.

Since then, Fouts says working conditions have gotten better and there's been some positive changes.

"The company's working with us, which they never did in the past," said Fouts.

Members of local unions gave speeches on several issues, including healthcare reform, higher wages, and current disputes surrounding contracts for UVM teachers, and Fairpoint Communications Workers.

Allyson Sprinkel doesn't belong to a union, but she says because of people uniting to fight for human rights her 3-year-old daughter Scarlet is growing up in a better world.

"I hope that she doesn't have to worry about healthcare and retirement, and things like that. I just hope that she has a safe, happy life," said Allyson Sprinkel.

There was also another rally held in Middlebury at the Town Green.

Sanders spoke at that event as well.

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