As the focus for this week’s #WalkoutWednesday, hear workers discuss the July 20 #StrikeForBlackLives with SEIU President Mary Kay Henry and Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, co-chair of the #PoorPeoplesCampaign.
Wellington Thomas, an ER Tech at Loretto Hospital in Chicago, spoke about how he and his fellow SEIU union members are ready to strike, not only for their hospital’s patients but for the many Black lives of Chicago affected by their hospital’s inaction to do better. The hospital workers are currently in contract negotiations, asking hospital management to address short staffing and better benefits, but management has not moved.
Another SEIU member, San Francisco janitor Khadijah Tamine, plans to join 1,500 fellow janitors on an unfair labor strike. "We're concerned for our safety. We want companies to provide PPE so we don’t get sick, so we can keep our families safe," she said. "We're also going on strike to support the Movement for Black Lives. We have to fight racism. We have to fight discrimination."
Cherrell Brown of Atlanta, a lead organizer with 350.org, who came to the conversation from the perspective of an environmental activist who exposes fossil fuel companies for taking non-renewable resources to profit just a few, said, "Racial justice is economic justice. When we talk about racial justice, we’re not just talking about diversity and inclusion. We’re not just talking about tweeting Black Lives, like Chevron did a few weeks ago. We’re talking about all the ways in which we must disrupt and dismantle the systems that cause racialized violence—whether that be corporations, systems of policing or fossil fuel companies."
HEAR & WATCH MORE OF THE CONVERSATION: