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Vermont passes pro-union legislation

Last week, Vermont lawmakers made significant changes to state labor law by passing a series of bills collectively known as “The PRO Act,” championed by supporters as a pivotal advancement for unions. 

The legislation seeks to broaden collective bargaining rights to include farmers and domestic workers, while also prohibiting captive audience meetings, and introducing card-check voting as an alternative to traditional elections. 

Backing the initiative, supporters launched passvtproact.com, a platform aimed at disseminating information about the bill and rallying support. The website offers a sign-up form to “Join the Coalition.”  

Among the notable endorsers listed are various labor unions, including local chapters of AFSCME, AFT, NEA, AFL-CIO, and UAW. 

Promoting unionization, the website asserts, “higher unionization rates benefit all workers, both union and non-union,” claiming unionization’s positive impacts on wages, gender and racial equality, civic engagement, and voter turnout. 
Further, it contends that while Vermont currently ranks 14th in the nation for union density, there is room for improvement, advocating for a stronger collective presence. 
However, the Vermont PRO Act represents just the beginning of these endeavors. In late April, both the House and Senate passed a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at enshrining collective bargaining rights in the state constitution. To date, Illinois is the only state in the country that has successfully passed a similar amendment. 
Looking ahead, the Vermont bill requires approval by both chambers during the 2025 session before facing a referendum vote in 2026.  
Lawmakers’ actions in this legislative session underscore the state’s commitment to promoting progressive labor policies, and we can expect the General Assembly to continue pushing for pro-union policies. 

Isabel Blank

Isabel Blank is Communications Director at Americans for Fair Treatment, a community of current and former public-sector employees offering resources and support to exercise their First Amendment rights. Prior to joining Americans for Fair Treatment in 2021, Isabel worked in media relations at Travelers Insurance and held government affairs and communications roles with Yankee Institute. She has a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish, both from the University of Connecticut (Go Huskies!). Isabel loves Crossfit and supporting her local Connecticut breweries.