Organizers say the “Strike for Black Lives Matter” will see thousands walk away from their jobs Monday as racism and inequality continue to be at the forefront of national conversation, Yahoo News reports.
What We Know:
- Thousands will walk out on their jobs in over 24 cities across the country, including essential workers like nursing home employees. In areas where employees are unable to stop for the entire day, organizers said participants will picket during lunch breaks or observe a moment of silence to honor Black deaths at the hands of violent police officers.
- The strike was announced on July 8 when unions, including the Service Employees International Union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the American Federation of Teachers, United Farm Workers and the Fight for $15 and a Union partnered in its planning. Social and racial justice groups later joined in the movement.
- Ash-Lee Henderson, an organizer with the Movement for Black Lives said, “We are building a country where Black lives matter in every aspect of society — including in the workplace. The Strike for Black Lives is a moment of reckoning for corporations that have long ignored the concerns of their Black workforce and denied them better working conditions, living wages and healthcare.”
- Protesters are calling for executive and legislative changes by corporations and governments to create a more even playing field for minority groups, specifically Black and Hispanic workers who make up the majority of employees earning less than a living wage. These changes include raising wages and allowing workers to unionize to negotiate better health care, sick leave, and child care support.
- In New York City, participants will rally outside of the Trump International Hotel to call for the passing of the HEROES Act. The bill provides protective equipment, essential pay, and extended unemployment benefits to workers who have not had the option of working from home throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. House passed the measure but it is awaiting approval from the Republican-led Senate before making its way to President Trump’s desk.
- Organizers said the protests are taking specific shots at big corporations like McDonalds, that came under fire last week when a group of employees filed a law suit in Florida claiming that they were subject to racial hostility. When they reported the issues to corporate leaders, their managers retaliated by cutting their hours and changing their work responsibilities. “We stand with Black communities across the globe in our commitment to address unacceptable racial injustices and are disappointed that these allegations do not reflect the high standards we hold ourselves accountable to every day across all areas of our business,” the McDonald’s corporation said in a statement.
The Strike for Black Lives Matter follows countless protests that have ensued from the death of George Floyd at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer. At 12 p.m. in each time zone across the country, workers are expected to take a knee for about eight minutes, the amount of time the officer held his knee on Floyd’s neck.