Actions in U.S. Continue
Strike For Black Lives
Teamsters, Brooklyn, New York.
"Even before George
Floyd's life was so horrifically taken, the
'normal' everyone keeps talking about going back
to wasn't working for us. From racially
motivated attacks to being forced to go to work
without protective equipment or hazard pay in
the name of the economy, our lives have not been
valued. We cannot go back to that.
We must move forward."
- Glen Brown,
Airport Wheelchair Attendant,
On July 20 over 60 unions and social justice
organizations organized a strike of essential
workers in cities across the U.S. Workers walked
off their jobs and took to the streets to demand
an end to racism, police impunity and "business as
usual" as part of a nationwide "Strike for Black
Lives." Tens of thousands of people with
front-line jobs in health care, transportation,
food services and other sectors staged walkouts
and protests throughout the day.
The action call read:
"This is a moment to transform our economy and
democracy but until we dismantle racism and white
supremacy, we cannot win economic, climate or
immigration justice. On July 20, workers demand:
"1. Justice for
Black communities, with an unequivocal declaration
that Black Lives Matter, is a necessary first step
to winning justice for all workers. To win higher
wages, better jobs, and Unions for All, we must
ensure that Black workers can build economic
power. To win Healthcare for All, we must address
disparities in accessibility and quality of care.
Action on climate change must center communities
of color. Immigrant communities stand in
solidarity with Black workers to build power
together. Education, housing, and criminal justice
reform must start by listening to Black workers
and leaders. We will support and align with
Black-led organizations and their demands.
"2. Elected officials and candidates at every
level use their executive, legislative, and
regulatory authority to begin to rewrite the rules
and reimagine our economy and democracy so that
Black communities can thrive. They must ensure
fair and safe voting in-person and by mail so
everyone can fully participate in our democracy.
As we continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic,
we must protect the health and safety of all
workers, returning people to work and into public
spaces with a rational, safe, well-managed plan
designed with workers and community stakeholders.
"3. Corporations take immediate action to
dismantle racism, white supremacy, and economic
exploitation wherever it exists, including in our
workplaces. This includes corporations raising
wages, allowing workers to form unions, providing
healthcare, sick leave and expanded healthcare
coverage to people who are uninsured or have lost
coverage as the result of losing their jobs during
the COVID-19 pandemic, child care support and
more, to disrupt the multigenerational cycle of
poverty created by their anti-worker attacks.
Workers must have ample personal protective
equipment (PPE) and have a voice in the plan to
create safe workplaces during and after the
"4. Every worker has the opportunity to form a
union, no matter where they work. Every worker in
America must have the freedom that comes from
economic security and equity in opportunity. We
demand the immediate implementation of a $15/hour
minimum wage, fully-funded healthcare coverage and
paid sick leave for all."
"All over the United States, farmworkers, nurses'
aides, hotel housekeepers, Uber, delivery, truck
and bus drivers, airport cabin cleaners, Amazon
warehouse workers, Walmart associates, and more
walked off the job to demand an end to police
violence against Black people and call on
companies to move beyond tweeting that Black Lives
Matter and take real action to improve Black
lives," organizers said.
Edison, New Jersey
Trenton, New Jersey
New York City
Long Island, New York
St. Louis, Missouri
Durham, North Carolina
Los Angeles, California
San Francisco, California
Yakima Valley, Washington
This article was published in
Volume 50 Number 27 - July 25, 2020
Actions in U.S. Continue: Strike For Black Lives