We are living and working in time of A WORLD WIDE COVID-19 pandemic, where the wealthy elite rulers and corporations of capitalism continue to put their greedy profits before us workers and working class people. As they make many of us continue to slave in our unsafe workplace jobs and communities, the police continue to murder Black workers like Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Abrery and Tony McDade, George Floyd and others in our community.
This has been the spark to the thousands of peaceful protests and uprisings across the U.S. and the world with daily developments that shift the conditions of our work, our community and LIVES.
The NC Public Service Workers Union-UE Local 150 put out this urgent appeal to you our members, co-workers and all workers organizations, unions and community organizations. We ask that YOU, as a person of conscience, initiate discussions NOW!
Afterwards, at your particular workplace and community spaces join us this Friday June 19th in the large scale action we collectively are planning for Juneteenth weekend 6/19-6/21
Cities continue to increase funding for police departments while cutting wages for city workers and other community needs.
Here are a few examples of ways you can get your co workers and members to take on a job action:
1) taking a knee together for 8 minutes and 46 seconds;
2) gathering safely and saying a name or incident of someone murdered or violated by police or racist actions;
3) safely gathering and saying a prayer on your job for the many victims of police murder or COVID-19;
4) honking your horn while driving into or out of work in their honor, or
5) organizing co-workers to participate in local rallies at City Halls or police stations.
You should certainly include wearing your “SAFE JOBS SAVE LIVES” stickers and pins in honor of our fellow workers lost to COVID 19, as we take actions, pray or talk about the forced re-opening of the ” entire non-essential economy” during this present Pandemic with the number of victims and deaths spiking !
WORKERS DEMAND :
MEDICARE FOR ALL !
END TO THE RACIST WAR ON BLACK AMERICA !
A CIVILIAN POLICE REVIEW BOARD WITH SUB-PEONA POWER !
DEMILITARIZE THE POLICE !
REFUND CITIES FROM POLICE BUDGETS AND INSTEAD INVEST IN PUBLIC WORKS IN BLACK/BROWN COMMUNITIES!
WE NEED MORE PUBLIC SERVICE JOBS AND NOT CUTS in SERVICES AND WAGES!
Friday, June 19 (Juneteenth) Actions planned:
1) Charlotte –– Moment of silence at work, and after work a rally lead by students featuring Charlotte City Workers Union president Dominic Harris. For more information call Dominic at (704) 954-9647
2) Durham – 6pm Workers rally at Police Headquarters. Durham Workers Assembly leading a rally featuring city workers speaking out against recent increase in police budget, while cutting out city workers raises (they get 0% this year). RSVP on Facebook here.
3) Goldsboro – Workers at Cherry hospital will be taking a knee at lunch. For more information, call UE150 Chapter president William Young at (919) 235-7031
Southern Workers Assembly statement:
From George Floyd to COVID-19, Two Pandemics Target Black Workers
Link the fight for workplace safety with the fight against police brutality
Workers in the US are currently facing two tragic pandemics. The first is the plight of essential workers, going to work every day to risk their lives amidst COVID-19, which has now resulted in the tragic death of over 100,000 people. The second is the reality of racism and police violence. Both disproportionately impact Black workers.
STOP THE KILLING – PUNISH THE KILLERS – CHANGE POLICING
Compounding the devastation of coronavirus, Black people in the US continue to face threats, brutality, and death for going to and from work. For being out jogging. For being poor. For sleeping in their own bed. For watching birds in a park. For being Black.
The murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade highlight this grim reality. Now millions of people all across the country are protesting. After experiencing two months of grief from COVID-19, there is now a righteous feeling of collective anger.
According to the statement from UE national officers, “It is not surprising that protests over Floyd’s and Taylor’s killings have erupted into rage. It has been almost six years since the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, focused our nation’s attention on police violence against people of color and poor people, and especially against Black men. Black Lives Matter, the Movement for Black Lives and many others have offered concrete policy proposals to address this injustice, yet little has been done and the killings continue.”
EXPOSED BY THE VIRUS – ‘ESSENTIALLY’ INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE
Tens of millions of workers find themselves in a condition of involuntary servitude, with no effective voice in their conditions of work, their health or the security of their livelihood. This is an intolerable situation for a nation that espouses democracy and constitutional rights. It can only be remedied by workers themselves, through collective action – protests, pickets and strikes – leading to collective bargaining.
Meanwhile, essential workers across the country have taken steps to participate and support the protests.
- Bus driver unions in Minneapolis and NYC have refused to transport masses of people to jail that police had arrested during protests.
- City worker unions are demanding that City Councils “defund police” in their annual budget’s being passed this month, and prioritize spending to support essential city workers jobs and the essential services they provide.
- Nurses unions are calling for racial bias training of law enforcement personnel, national standards of investigation including community-lead police review boards, and improved diversity in hiring and retention.
- University workers’ unions are organizing for elimination of police on campus.
- Education workers’ unions are bargaining to kick School Resource Officers out of schools.
These are some of the many ways that the labor movement can use our institutional power to build real lasting change.
It is no surprise that President Trump has threatened to deploy federal troops. We’ve taken the measure of this President over the past three years. He and his hanger-ons are a danger to the nation, and call out the worst elements in our society. Federal authorities in DC and too many local police departments have repeatedly used rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas to clear peaceful protesters.
According to a statement from United Steelworkers union, “The history of our union movement is filled with similar incidents of guardsmen and police forces being used against workers [to break strikes]. It’s not a far stretch to envision expanded use of the military against today’s labor movement if we stand by while it happens against these protestors.”
We need to continue to build a labor movement that understands how to bring our labor power to bear to help pressure society to build a society where everyone has equal access to healthcare. We need a society where racism of police doesn’t lead to murders of thousands of Black and Brown people annually. This will require bold and decisive action. Our experience with building our unions puts us in a strategic position to take this action on the job and in the streets.
The Southern Workers Assembly has launched a Safe Jobs Save Lives campaign to support workers organizing their jobs for safety amid COVID-19. Sanitation workers in New Orleans and Tuskegee, AL have struck for safety. Bus drivers in Birmingham have stopped work. Poultry workers in Georgia and Virginia have walked out demanding PPE and hazard pay. Let’s unite these powerful actions with the uprisings in the streets demanding an end to police murders.
Read statement here .https://southernworker.org/2020/06/two-pandemics-black-workers/