Last week, several WNBA, NBA, and other teams went on strike in reaction to continued police violence. This groundbreaking moment is a reminder of the power of workers, united, to challenge unjust systems. But the moment of resistance spreads far deeper than athletes and headlines. Frontline workers have been fighting for health and safety rights since the beginning of this pandemic. Strikes and pickets from teachers, nurses, sanitation workers, domestic workers, temporary workers, and employees of major chains like Walmart, Instacart, and Amazon have insisted that worker dignity and safety is key for all of us.
Workers are at the center of bringing us from this moment of crisis to a safer future. Our partner organizations have been fighting for COVID safety protections and equipment, as well as continuing to fight for systemic changes like sectoral bargaining, a federal jobs guarantee, the growth of coops, and demands for universal systems from healthcare to family care that liberate workers from this abusive economy.
These ideas come from the frontline organizing of our partners, allies and social movements. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ (CIW) increasingly successful fight to transform agriculture; Migrant Justice’s breakthrough in the dairy industry with the Milk with Dignity program; CTUL’s (Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en La Lucha) work to address severe abuses in construction in the Twin Cities; Raise the Floor Alliance’s statewide agenda for workers’ rights; The Chicago Workers Collaborative building power for temp workers; the New Economy Coalition’s support for worker coops; Rights and Democracy’s statewide agendas; and more.
These innovative efforts offer a foundation for a New Social Contract for our country by giving us a new vision for labor. On this Labor Day, we celebrate and stand in solidarity with worker-led struggles for dignity, safety, and a liberated future.