Why the Vermont Progressive Party Champions a Just Transition Resolution

Whereas: Job displacement that results from economic, ecological or social imperatives must be dealt with as the other side of the “social good” coin, and not cost workers or communities their health, wealth or assets. The cost of such changes should fall on those who can afford it; and

Whereas: The Vermont Progressive Party understands that climate change, the preservation of the environment and the danger of nuclear pollution are issues that directly affect working people because they are the most vulnerable and have the fewest resources to deal with these problems; and

Whereas: It will take the united efforts of all affected Vermonters to cope with these problems, especially those workers most directly affected by environmental protection measures and the closure of Vermont Yankee including their Trade Unions to bring about real change; and

Whereas: While it is true that a state-based single-payer or self insurance system is the only effective mechanism for controlling skyrocketing costs by saving millions annually wasted on administrative costs and insurance company profits while covering all Vermonters, it is also true that this will result in job losses for those currently employed by health care providers and insurance companies in processing insurance claims.

Therefore be it resolved: That the Vermont Progressive Party strongly advocates a “Just Transition” to a sustainable economy, always demonstrating a deep concern for both jobs and the environment.

Be it further resolved: That the closing of Entergy’s Vermont Yankee plant must include provisions for a “Just Transition” for the local community which faces the loss of revenue, and the VY workers who lose their jobs, and may, in this economy, never have a family wage job again. A “Just Transition” includes a firm commitment to guarantee jobs (at union wages) or income, as well as necessary retraining.

Be it further resolved: That the Vermont Progressive Party’s fight for a state-based single-payer system include provisions for a “Just Transition” for all those who lose their jobs because they are employed by health care providers to process insurance claims.

Adopted February 7, 2010