Join the virtual celebration of May 1 of Voices of the Frontera!
* This Friday, 6-7:30 pm CDT
* On Facebook live on the page of the Voices of the Frontera
Join the Voices of the Virtual Border May Day celebration!
*This Friday from 6-7:30 pm CDT
*On FB Live from the Voces de la Frontera home page
RSVP here: https://bit.ly/santuario2020
[Image credit: Celeste Contreras]
President Donald Trump is expected to take executive action as soon as Tuesday to declare meat packing plants in the U.S. essential businesses, keeping the processing facilities open despite concerns over worker and food safety in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.
The movegenerated criticism from labor unions, animal rights groups, and consumer advocates who charged the president was acting with gross negligence and disregard.
“We only wish that this administration cared as much about the lives of working people as it does about meat, pork, and poultry products,” Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union president Stuart Applebaum said in a statement.
“Employers and government must do better,” he added. “If they want to keep the meat and poultry supply chain healthy, they need to make sure that workers are safe and healthy.”
Meat processing plants have been at the center of outbreaks in numerous states, leading food safety advocates on social media to call for a shutdown of the industry:
“The federal government should be stepping in to supplement food distribution networks to get our abundant frozen meat supplies to stores and food banks that need them.” (Photo: AP/Nati Harnik)
Each point contains a link to each of the more with more information on the strike.
So far, we’ve identified over 140 wildcat strikes that happened since the beginning of March. (Several larger strikes like at Instacart and Whole Foods happened in multiple cities).
We suspect many strikes aren’t reporting at all for a variety of reasons and that the numbers are higher than we can track.
The map will be updated regularly. Send updates on new strikes to firstname.lastname@example.org
In some places, workers are simply calling out sick en mass and refusing to show up so bosses shut dow their plants.
Many areas have no reporters with connections to the labor movement so many strikes are going completely uncovered.
In other places, workers have protested for an hour or two before bosses have agreed to workers’ demands.
Also, some union leaders are hesitant to get the media involved out of fear of retalation
So, we need to keep sending tips to Payday for our strike at email@example.com
Efforts are needed on all fronts if we are to overcome these times of crisis.
Since the beginning of March, PPT has joined a number of national alliances to call on our federal legislators to expand resources for public transit, worker protections, affordable housing, healthcare and more.
Read some of these letters below and make sure to follow the partners that are leading up these organizing efforts.
We win when we’re organized. We win when we support each other.
TransitCenter: Broad Alliance Tells White House, Transit Workers Need Better Protection From COVID-19
TransitCenter is a foundation that works to improve public transit in cities across the U.S. On April 22nd, they organized dozens of transit advocacy organizations, transit worker labor unions, and organizational partners across the country to send a letter to Vice President MIke Pence, Whitehouse Coronavirus Response Coordinator, Deborah Birx, and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci. The letter lays out demands for better federal coordination to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for transit workers.
Labor Network for Sustainability: Increase Emergency Relief Funding for Transit Workers
Labor Network for Sustainability is the organized voice within the labor movement that advocates for policies that are ecologically sustainable while also advancing the movement for good jobs and a just transition for workers and communities hurt by the effects of climate change and by the
transition to renewable energy. Their #TransitEquity Campaign pushes expanded public transit as a key to benefiting our environment, our cities, and our public transit workers and riders.
On April 21st, PPT joined the Labor Network for Sustainability and a coalition of over 70 organizations to release a letter urging Congress to provide more funding for transit agencies and to cover hazard pay, costs for personal protective equipment (PPE), onsite COVID-19 testing and treatment at work locations.
Doctors and nurses of Cuba’s Henry Reeve International Medical Brigade take part in a farewell ceremony before traveling to Andorra to help in the fight against the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, at the Central Unit of Medical Cooperation in Havana, on March 28, 2020. © AFP / YAMIL LAGE
We ask you to endorse this statement by the newly formed AEMAC (Allow Emergency Medical Aid from Cuba) to bring Cuban doctors and medicine to Detroit in order to Fight COVID-19:
We are all stunned by the enormous death and destruction in Detroit caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This plague is especially hitting the African American community, disproportionally. While Trump promotes a malaria drug of questionable effectiveness, which has even been shown to be harmful to people with COVID-19, we know that Cuba has produced Interferon Alpha 2(b) and other medications which are showing promising results against the Coronavirus in China and other countries. We desperately could use those medications here in Detroit.
Although subject to the inhumane U.S. blockade, Cuba has been dedicated to developing and sharing medical breakthroughs, training people from all over the world to be skilled healthcare workers, and sending medical teams wherever there is great need. Several Detroit students have graduated from or are currently enrolled in medical school under full scholarship in Cuba. Cuban doctors and nurses are now in Italy, Iran, and 35 other nations, helping to save the lives of COVID-19 victims.
We want to invite Cuba to help us now, as Detroit is being so heavily impacted by the virus. Governor Whitmer has the emergency authority, under MCL 30.404, to enter into reciprocal aid agreements with other countries to obtain food, clothing, medicine and supplies to meet the crisis. There is an exception to the U.S. Blockade against Cuba for the importation of Cuban medicines under 31 CFR 515.347.
Join us in requesting that Governor Whitmer, on behalf of the people of Michigan, issue a formal request for medical aid from Cuba.
1. Detroit needs the medications that Cuba has been developing and using successfully worldwide to fight COVID-19. Interferon Alfa-2B stands out across the world as a serious option, with promising results. We call for the governor to set up a team of medical experts to examine its efficacy as a treatment for COVID-19, and present their findings, if positive, to the FDA for approval of its distribution and use.
2. Governor Whitmer should extend an invitation to Cuba to send medical teams experienced in fighting Pandemics like the COVID-19 to help treat those most affected in Michigan.
TO ENDORSE THIS STATEMENT,
– Use this form https://tinyurl.com/y7g46fsk or
– Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, the name of your organization (if applicable), and/or any pertinent qualifications or identification you wish to include.
Here is a list of Media Resources on Cuban Medical Aid, and COVID-19. Please share the articles in order to spread awareness and help the cause. https://tinyurl.com/cuba-medical
Join Jobs With Justice and millions of working people around the country as we call on big banks and landlords to place a moratorium on everyone’s rent for the next three months!
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our world, economy, and livelihoods upside down in a matter of weeks. We were already fighting against big banks and unscrupulous landlords, who turned our homes into profit engines for the mega rich—and that was before the pandemic. That’s why we’re calling on the banks and landlords controlling the rents and homes of millions put people before profits right now.
At this time of deadly disease and economic crisis, we have control over our collective response. Working people can force structural changes: changes that prioritize democratic participation and accountability throughout all arenas of society—in our homes and at work.
On May 1, 2020, Jobs With Justice and its partners are calling for a housing strike against Wall Street and corporate landlords who seek to profit from our pain. No one should have to choose between paying for food or paying for housing.
We’re asking you to pledge to join us in a rent strike unless the biggest landlords in the country:
- Forgive unpaid rents and waive mortgage interest and defer mortgage payments for the months of April, May and June;
- Cease evictions of any renters and foreclosures on any homeowners during the full duration of the crisis — for at least six months;
- Use their political power to call on public officials to support housing relief for the tens of millions of American workers who have lost their jobs.
Millions of working people pay their rent each month to enormous companies and some of the wealthiest individuals in the world. Companies like Greystar, Equity Residential, and Lincoln Property Company control the rents for apartments in every state in the United States, while billionaires like Sam Zell founder and chairman of Equity Residential and Barry Sternlicht of Starwood Capital effectively serve as landlords for millions of us. These enormous companies dictate the rent and home prices in communities across the country. Private Equity firms like Cerebus own and rent out single family homes and have a proven track record of evicting Black people following the Great Recession.
Take the pledge and join us on May 1st as we take control of this crisis and lay the groundwork to force these companies to the table and to negotiate with us – now and into the future.
Disclaimer: Jobs With Justice respects your ability to assess your own risk, but encourage rent strikers to consider to investigate ways of protecting themselves. Many states have enacted temporary full or partial protections against eviction, but not all have, and where they prohibitions exist, the rules in effect in each political jurisdiction can differ. In signing this pledge, you reserve the right to withdraw from the rent strike should your circumstances change.
On May 1, employees at some of the country’s largest companies will be staging a strike to protest the lack of protections and benefits frontline workers have been provided in the face of a pandemic. The Intercept reports that Amazon, Whole Foods, Instacart, Shipt and Target employees will be walking off the job or staging “sick outs” on Friday, and are encouraging customers to boycott those businesses.
In a pledge for workers to walk out, Whole Worker — the grass roots collective of Whole Food workers seeking to organize — wrote, “It is impossible to properly follow social distancing guidelines in stores when interacting with customers, Amazon Prime shoppers, and other employees both on the floor and in the back of the house. As a result, Whole Foods team members are putting their lives at risk by coming to work. At least two Whole Foods team members have already died from coronavirus.” In another announcement, they write they are striking for the same protections they demanded on their “sick out” on March 31, including guaranteed paid leave, health care for part-time and seasonal workers, and adequate sanitization equipment. Instacart workers also already went on strike on March 30 to demand things like safety gear and hazard pay….
Last week, Wisconsin nurses held a vigil to honor the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. They stressed their deep concern about the call to re-open Wisconsin and warned against the rally scheduled for the following day.
Nevertheless, over 1300 people gathered at the State Capitol calling to “Liberate” Wisconsin. None of us are truly free if we are not safe and healthy. At the rally, people spoke about how they lost their jobs or small businesses, their health insurance and their ability to pay their bills. That part is true. This *is* the case for millions of people all over the country.
However, the answer is not reopen the economy because it’s just not safe. Social-distancing, as painful as it has been, is working and we must continue it until we’re on the other side of this deadly pandemic.
Instead of increasing risk of contracting and spreading this virus, we must stand together and call on our leaders to take action.
May Day is International Workers’ Day and it’s the perfect day to stand in solidarity with all workers and demand they be taken care of. This Friday, May 1st at noon, a caravan will gather and travel around the Capitol to make sure our leaders hear our demands. We will not gather in a large crowd but rather stay in our cars and unite in a responsible way. Bikes are also welcome, as long as everyone respects the social distancing protocols of staying at least 6 feet away from each other.
The caravan will start at the parking lot of the Madison Labor Temple to honor all workers – especially our medical, restaurant, grocery, postal and delivery workers. They should *all* receive the hazard pay and equipment they need to stay safe.
For all who’ve lost their jobs or are underemployed, emergency relief funds and BadgerCare should be given directly. This must include our undocumented sisters and brothers, whom we also honor on May 1st – A Day Without Immigrants. We are also calling to #CancelRent.
Please sign our petition, especially if you’re unable to travel to Madison this Friday. This is our chance to safely stand in solidarity with one another during this crisis. We must work together as if our lives depend on it, because they do. Please join us. Thank you.