Tens of thousands of Americans are expected to walk off the job on Monday afternoon from coast to coast to protest police brutality, systemic racism, and economic inequality that has significantly worsened during the virus-induced recession, according to AP News.
Called “Strike for Black Lives,” labor unions and community organizing groups have partnered together to unleash strikes across the country among essential workers.
“The fight for racial justice and Black liberation has always been deeply connected to workers’ rights movements, and we are here today to demand transformational change in our workplaces,” tweeted the Movement for Black Lives.
The fight for racial justice and Black liberation has always been deeply connected to workers’ rights movements and we are here today to demand transformational change in our workplaces.
— Movement 4 Black Lives (@Mvmnt4BlkLives) July 20, 2020
Rev. William Barber III, the founder of the Poor People’s Campaign, urged folks on Monday morning to sign up for the strike that is expected to start around lunchtime.
Today’s the day! If you have not already signed up, sign up now & join the #StrikeForBlackLives.
— Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II (@RevDrBarber) July 20, 2020
Fast-food workers, nursing home employees, delivery men and women, janitors, gig-economy workers, and airport workers, are some of the folks expected to attend today’s events.
The strike is a continuation of social disturbances that were triggered two months ago in late May when George Floyd died by a police officer kneeling on his neck, unleashing nationwide social unrest.
Strikers are demanding corporations and government officials to create an environment where all races can equally thrive. One such demand is a wage increase, another demand is allowing workers to unionize, so they can get better benefits when it comes to healthcare.
“Strikers are demanding sweeping action by corporations and government to confront systemic racism and economic inequality that limits mobility and career advancement for many Black and Hispanic workers, who make up a disproportionate number of those earning less than a living wage,” said AP.
“We are … building a country where Black lives matter in every aspect of society — including in the workplace,” said Ash-Lee Henderson, a Movement for Black Lives organizer, told AP.
“The Strike for Black Lives is a moment of reckoning for corporations that have long ignored the concerns of their Black workforce and denied them better working conditions, living wages, and healthcare,” Henderson added.
Essential workers set to strike in Manhattan today will gather outside the Trump International Hotel at noon to demand President Trump pass trillions of dollars in more stimulus that will fund direct deposits to low-income unemployed.
Strikers also want mega-corporations like McDonald’s and Walmart to be held accountable for their exploitation of low-wages among workers of color.
With double-dip recession threats rising as 80% of the US population is situated in states where governors have paused or reversed reopenings – it seems social unrest could be gearing up for another round into late summer as deep structural reforms are being demanded by organizing leaders.
In a time of socio-economic chaos, can mega corporations actually afford to boost wages and provide better benefits for workers?