Safe Jobs Save Lives
Workers across the US South are on the move demanding workplace safety amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic. Southern workers also need a strategy and self-organization to secure any gains they make through collective action.
As we reach nearly 17 million people becoming recently unemployed, our for-profit health care system tied to a job is increasingly being exposed. Health care should be a human right for all.
Studies show that the Black working class, because of the capitalist system’s historical oppression and neglect, has suffered the highest number of deaths from COVID19. Fifty-seven (57%) percent of the US Black population live in the South, a region where racial, economic, social and political inequality has been the highest for Black America.
How do we use this moment to advance the organization of workers at the workplace and to build solidarity formations such as local workers assemblies, especially in the Southern region with lowest union density? How can this crisis help us get closer to a universal, single-payer health care system?
We seek to launch a South-wide campaign that unites workers on the following PRINCIPLES:
1) Right to a safe workplace – everyone has the right to a safe workplace and a right to refuse unsafe work.
2) Building workplace organization and uniting with your co-workers in collective action is best way to combat unsafe conditions, and
3) Healthcare is a human right – health care should not be tied to the employer, it should be provided to everyone, even those recent unemployed through a universal single-payer system like “Medicare for All”, and all testing and treatment related to COVID-19 should be covered by single-payer public health insurance like Medicare. While also recognizing that we need to immediately fight our employers to provide affordable health insurance coverage until the day this is won.
Resources for Workers
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April 28: Southern Workers Fightback & Organize amid COVID-19
Read a full report on this webinar