General Strike in Support of Black Lives Matter Planned for Monday, July 20

by on July 17, 2020 · 4 comments

in Civil Rights

A nationwide general strike has been called by a raft of labor unions and racial and social justice groups in support of Black Lives Matter for this upcoming Monday, July 20. Called “Strike for Black Lives”, it’s expected that tens of thousands of working people in 25 cities will walk off their jobs as part of a nationwide walkout to confront systemic racism in America.

Fast-food, nursing home, rideshare and other workers will go on strike Monday and will be joined by thousands more who will walk off their jobs for eight minutes, 46 seconds to remember George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain and other Black people killed by police.

The protests represent actions to demand corporations and governments do something to confront what’s called the “triple threat of white supremacy, public health emergency, and broken economy.” Some of the sponsoring organization include:

  • Service Employees International Union,
  • the International Brotherhood of Teamsters,
  • the American Federation of Teachers,
  • United Farm Workers,
  • Amalgamated Transit Union
  • Coalition of Black Trade Unionists
  • the National Domestic Workers Alliance
  • the Fight for $15 and a Union
  • the Movement for Black Lives,
  • the Poor People’s Campaign.
  • U.S. Youth Climate Strike Coalition
  • Center for Popular Democracy
  • Jobs with Justice
  • One Fair Wage
  • 350.org
  • Greenpeace USA
  • MoveOn
  • Indivisible
  • Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Climate Justice Alliance
  • New York State Nurses Association
  • Center for Biological Diversity
  • MomsRising
  • Sierra Club

In PR released by strike organizers, Angely Rodriguez Lambert, an Oakland McDonald’s worker is quoted:

“Companies like McDonald’s cannot on the one hand tweet that ‘Black Lives Matter’ and on the other pay us poverty wages and fail to provide sick days and adequate PPE.  We’re going on strike because McDonald’s and other fast-food companies have failed to protect us in a pandemic that has ravaged Black and brown communities across the country.

We’re going to keep joining together and speaking out until McDonald’s and other companies respond with actions that show they really value our lives.”

Lambert is also a leader in the Fight for $15 and a Union. She said she and several co-workers tested positive for the coronavirus after employees weren’t initially provided proper protective equipment. “Our message is that we’re all human and we should be treated like humans — we’re demanding justice for Black and Latino lives,” she told the AP. “We’re taking action because words are no longer bringing the results that we need,” she said. “Now is the moment to see changes.”   LA Times

There’s more than simple walkouts.

  • Striking workers in Missouri will rally at the McDonald’s in Ferguson, followed by a march to the memorial for Michael Brown, who was killed by police in 2014.
  • In Detroit, striking McDonald’s and other fast-food workers will rally with nursing home workers from across the city who will walk off their jobs to call out the industry’s failure to protect its largely Black workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic and respect workers for the essential work they perform.
  • In the Twin Cities, where Floyd was killed, striking nursing home workers will participate in a caravan that will include a stop at the airport, where they’ll be joined in protest by airport workers including wheelchair attendants and cabin cleaners who are demanding $15/hr and a just and safe plan to bring people back into public and travel spaces.
  • in Los Angeles, striking fast-food and nursing home workers will join with Uber and Lyft drivers and Postmates workers, janitorial, security and other workers in a car caravan that begins at a McDonald’s, with stops at the LAUSD and the University of Southern California, where they will demand the nation’s second-largest school district and the University drop their use of the LAPD on campuses.

Strikes and protests will also take place in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Durham, Harrisburg, Hartford, Houston, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, New Martinsville, Oakland, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, Sacramento, Scranton, Seattle, St. Paul, Toledo, Yakima and more.

Specifically striking workers and the organizations sponsoring the mobilization are demanding:

  • Justice for Black communities, with an unequivocal declaration that Black Lives Matter, as a necessary first step to winning justice for all workers.
  • Elected officials and candidates at every level must use their executive, legislative, and regulatory authority to begin to rewrite the rules and reimagine our economy and democracy so that communities of every race can thrive.
  • 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.
  • Every worker must have the opportunity to form a union, no matter where they work. “We cannot achieve economic justice without racial justice,” said Mary Kay Henry, president of SEIU. “From our nation’s founding, white supremacy and economic exploitation have been inextricably linked. Today, in this national moment of reckoning, working people are demanding fundamental changes to America’s broken system. They’re coming together in the Strike for Black Lives to declare that until Black people can thrive, none of our communities can thrive.”

For more testimonials about the strike, go here.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Debbie July 17, 2020 at 4:01 pm

Anyone who has a responsibility for caring for another person should not be walking off their job and possibly endangering the life of someone else i.e. nursing home worker etc.

Reply

Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie July 19, 2020 at 9:02 pm

This will be an important across the board show of support for Black Lives Matter. It will be a way to show support without leaving your abode. For 8+ minutes if you’re at home. Or at a job you can’t walk off from.

Reply

Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie July 19, 2020 at 9:05 pm

Events near San Diego:

10 minutes of silence on Zoom
Monday, July 20, 2020 • 11:30 AM Zoom Zoom san diego, CA 92115

Reply

Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie July 19, 2020 at 9:07 pm

8:46 Pledge
On July 20, workers across the country will walk off the job as part of the #StrikeForBlackLives. Even if you can’t go on strike or join us in the streets, you can still stand up for Black lives.

Taking a knee for 8m 46s wherever you are on July 20 at noon, -OR-
Holding 8m 46s of silence on July 20 at noon, -OR-
Walking off your job for 8m 46s.

Reply

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