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Trauma would be the best way to describe the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the working class. Suddenly workers found ourselves in a situation beyond our control. But it’s also a moment of opportunity to actually take more control over our work lives and push for a more democratic society. Workers and unions have to hit the streets and organize.

At a Taco Bell in Washington Township, Michigan, the action began when Jonathon Foster, a shift leader, approached the district manager about paid sick leave during the pandemic. She flat-out refused, despite pledges from Taco Bell’s CEO.

It’s (Way Past) Time to Redistribute Obscene Police Budgets to Schools, Hospitals, and Buses

June 04, 2020 / Samantha Winslow, Alexandra BradburyThe marches are sweeping every state. Hundreds of thousands of people have braved the pandemic to protest the murder of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, by Minneapolis police.
Like the teacher strike waves of 2018 and 2019, today’s protests against police violence have the support of a majority of Americans. A Monmouth poll showed 78 percent think protesters’ anger about the killing of George Floyd is wholly or partially justified.

Labor Fights for George Floyd in Twin Cities

June 03, 2020 / Cherrene HorazukI watched with horror the video of George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis Police, so bravely captured by a 17-year-old African American woman. Seared in my brain is Officer Derek Chauvin’s smirk as he knelt on Mr. Floyd’s neck, ignoring his pleas for help, his calls for his mother, and his repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe.” Three other officers stood by, protecting Chauvin from any intervention that might save Mr. Floyd’s life. As I watched and wept, I looked more closely at the background and realized that Mr. Floyd was killed just blocks from my house.

Apple Shed Strikes Win Recognition, But the Fight Goes On

June 02, 2020 / David BaconWorkers at the apple packing shed that sparked a wave of strikes in central Washington went back to work on Monday with a written agreement recognizing their workers' committee, Trabajadores Unidos por la Justicia (Workers United for Justice). Of the 115 workers at Allan Brothers who walked out May 7, 34 stayed out for the full 22 days, during which hundreds of other workers struck at six additional sheds in the area.

Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Point to Need for Medicare for All

June 01, 2020 / Dean E. RobinsonThe racial disparities of COVID-19 have received much attention. Blacks are dying at a higher rate that is typically more than double the rate of whites. But we need to move beyond naming the problem to fighting for solutions. Medicare for All would go a long way to beginning to address racial disparities in health care in general and for COVID-19 in particular.

For five days in 1919, union members took control of the city of Seattle. They arguably ran it better, and certainly more justly, than it had ever been run before.
The strike began when waitresses, laundry workers, streetcar workers, and more—65,000 union workers in all—walked off the job on February 6, 1919, to support striking shipyard workers.

In a free, online event June 6 at 8 p.m. Eastern time, the nonprofit theatre company Actors Circle Ensemble will present via Zoom three short plays that explore the contemporary American labor movement.

The first time Jay Frasier took a drink, he was 15 years old. At the time, he thought he had discovered the world. He thought that booze had saved his life. At the very end of his drinking, he realized however that it was the very thing that was killing him.
Jay has attended an AA meeting for the last 38 years, run by a union electrician. It was when that union electrician asked Jay if he would like to take it over, when the course of his life changed forever.
Jay has been sober for 22 years now.
“I met Jay when he was just coming out of his time,” said Lou Antonellis, Business Manager for Local IBEW 103. “Me and Jay spent a lot of time together before we got into our respective jobs, and talked about how we were sick and tired of going to wakes and funerals for young members who couldn’t get the help that they needed.”
Jay took it upon himself to be that source of support for those were in a position he was in not too long ago. He wakes up everyday to battle for the members of Local 103, to show them that there is so much to live for, to be proud of, to fight for.
It is because of Jay that many Local IBEW 103 members who once felt lost and...

The organized labor movement has begun swinging into action to support protests against the racist police murder of Minneapolis resident George Floyd.
Floyd was filmed being suffocated to death under the knee of police officer Derek Chauvin on Monday in a video that reverberated around the country and has sent the Twin Cities into turmoil.
Protesters lit shops and even a police precinct on fire on Thursday as public rage boiled over in Minneapolis’s third precinct over the ever-continuing string of police murders of Black people in the United States.