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Chicago Amazon Workers Picket with Supporters—and Their Cars

April 06, 2020 / Alan Maass“Quite a way to start your week off, right?”
Bekin Mehmedi was watching a long line of car protesters, all blaring their horns, drive through the gates of Amazon’s main delivery facility in Chicago. He and 20 or so workers and their supporters walked a socially distanced picket line, their fourth in six days, early on Saturday, April 4.

Undocumented Workers Hit Hard by COVID-19 Crisis

April 06, 2020 / Saurav SarkarRestaurant worker and painter José Garcia says “positive thinking makes everything easier.”
He has a lot to make easier.
Prior to the coronavirus crisis, the Mexican-born Massachusetts resident was working nearly 60 hours a week. He earned $29,000 last year.
Together, he and his partner earned $49,000. On that money, they supported themselves, their young daughter, and his partner’s children from a previous relationship.

Labor Notes’ Saurav Sarkar spoke with New York City teacher Annie Tan on March 23 about the rise in anti-Asian racism with the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Labor Notes: Can you tell me a little bit about your family background and how it connects to organizing against anti-Asian racism?
Annie Tan: I was born and raised in Chinatown and I have lived in New York City almost all my life. My family members were mostly new immigrants to America.

As the impact of COVID-19 continues to impact our lives, IBEW members (as they routinely do during times of crisis) continue to answer society’s call to help those who need it the most. It’s the IBEW Way. These are just a few of the stories from the past week to help lift your spirits and show you some good news in these difficult times.
The post IBEW Hour Power: Good Newscast appeared first on IBEW Hour Power.

The Steward's Guide to COVID-19

April 04, 2020 / United Electrical WorkersThe following is a lightly edited version of a special edition of the UE Steward, the United Electrical Workers’ monthly publication for stewards. Labor Notes is reprinting it under the terms of the UE’s reuse policy and in our shared interest of promoting democratic, rank-and-file unionism. For more coronavirus resources for workers, visit labornotes.org/coronavirus.

Will COVID-19 Be Our Triangle Fire?

April 03, 2020 / David UngerThe world is in the grips of a horrible pandemic that will touch us all. But as has almost always been the case, the burden of COVID-19 will disproportionately fall on marginalized and working people. In New York, now the epicenter of the U.S. crisis, we watch as the crisis pushes the stories of previously invisible workers—the grocery store clerks and delivery persons, transit workers and hospital orderlies—squarely into the public conversation.

Union members at a Detroit-area auto parts plant refused to work March 19 and 20 after learning that a management employee had tested positive for the coronavirus. Angry first-shift workers gathered outside the plant and refused to enter.
The story is a textbook example of management indifference and worker solidarity. “It was one of those moments I am proud to be in a union,” said union chairman Trent DeSenglau. “This solidified us for sure. I have never seen so much support ever.”

Strikes, work stoppages, and protests this week at Amazon, Instacart, Whole Foods, and other workplaces may not have done much to shut down the nation’s stores and warehouses, but they sent America a very loud and potent message none the less.
The thousands of men and women who pick and pack at hundreds of giant fulfillment centers, the millions who stand behind retail counters, and the legion of gig workers tasked with delivering food and medicine to your doorstep now stand at the vital heart of the world’s largest economy.

For those of you still working, and for those of you sheltering in place around the country, now is a great time to learn about Klein Tools‘ newly redesigned Fish Tape. It makes the many tasks you ask of your tape to do easier which helps to optimize your tasks and saves time while on the job.
The post Watts New: Klein Tools Fish Tape appeared first on IBEW Hour Power.

More unions are demanding that all non-essential workplaces be shut down, to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
On a Labor Notes webinar March 30, essential workers pleaded with everyone else to please stay home.
Of course, that requires compensation.