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 pandemic.

"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.

Photo Review



Hartford, Connecticut

Edison, New Jersey

Trenton, New Jersey

New Jersey

New York City

Long Island, New York

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Toledo, Ohio

Washington, DC

Minneapolis, Minnesota


St. Louis, Missouri

Chicago, Illinois

Detroit, Michigan

Durham, North Carolina

Memphis, Tennessee

Houston, Texas

Oakland, California

Los Angeles, California

San Francisco, California

Seattle, Washington

Yakima Valley, Washington

(Photos: Teamsters, Teamster locals 1, 813, 350, United Farmworkers, SEIU, SEIU Locals 509, 1, 721, New York Nurses Assn, Greenpeace, AFL-CIO, S. Williamson, EO White, D. Bouscher, A. Azikiwe, B. Karp, IUPAT, Friends of the Earth)

This article was published in

Volume 50 Number 27 - July 25, 2020

Article Link:
Actions in U.S. Continue: Strike For Black Lives


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