Public Statement for 5/19/2020
Who Are We?
We are the Working Class, and Who Are We to get screwed over, yet again?
Times have been rough for the Essential workers. The pandemic has just amplified the obvious distaste our country holds for those who hold together the economic system of society. The system that has decided workers are not worth basic human rights now relies on those same workers to keep that system in place. Threats of loss and ruin from our masters keep us complacent in a moment when we are more vulnerable and POWERFUL than ever before. If they let you step outside your box to view the world in its potential beauty, they may not get you back, to utilize your life, for their benefit. All of this occurring while they rob you blind, devalue everything you own, and prop up the established powers in order to maintain control. You, my friend, are getting screwed!
We have been demanding HAZARD PAY for over two and a half months. Some, even essential workers, find this controversial. It is not. We, as workers in essential businesses, are in a verbal contract with the Federal, State, and Local Government to continue working during hazardous conditions. If our President has compared this pandemic to war, then we have a right to hazard pay just like soldiers or contract workers in a war zone or area of social unrest. That statement may drive people mad, but in this biological fight Nurses, Medical Personnel, EMT’s, and Scientists are our soldiers and Grocery/Retail, Trucking, Energy, Maintenance, Construction, Gig, USPS, Delivery, Warehousing, Food Production, and Tech Workers are our contract workers via their essential companies. Please forgive the short list. There are more than 33 classifications recognized by the Federal Government.
The majority of us do not want to be called heroes! The fact is, we have always been the undervalued in society, and to call us heroes, now, is an insult to our work prior to the crisis. What we need is true safety, true governmental support, and the pay of said “hero,” while the future of a living wage is written in stone.
The Who Are We Movement does not have a political identity. We include all workers and activists from all political backgrounds because we support a powerful labor and working-class movement beyond the divisions of identity politics. However, our organization does see what the government and the politicians are actively doing. Here are the general facts of the current legislation entering the discussion in DC. Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats have unveiled a new stimulus package/bill called the “Heroes Act.” This House of Representatives supported bill has passed through committee and has been voted through as of Friday 5/15/2020. Do not be fooled! This unreadable and out-of-touch, 1,800 page bill is not just for “Heroes,” nor is it going to ensure that workers will get what they deserve. Out of the $3trillion, only $200billion is going directly toward Essential Workers’ pockets, labeled as “Hazard Pay.” There are developments stating that there is funding within the rest of the stimulus that will increase that amount via Local and State Governments. The Senate has yet to approve this bill as is, and will probably chop up or add provisions based on their interests. Trump also will need to sign it. There is no rush to get these provisions to the workers nor has there been for weeks. The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, has made statements about delaying any vote until June. So, don’t hold your breath!
There are a lot of issues with this bill besides the potential for running short on funding for essential workers. It is designed by the establishment politicians to provide financial support for...lobbying firms...Lobbyists and lobbying firms! All this so the campaign contributions don’t come to a screeching halt during an election year.. And, just when a national healthcare program becomes a necessity, the Dems continue to strike it down. In place of a real plan to help the working class body of this country, congress has opted to subsidize COBRA giving massive sums of money directly into the hands of health insurance companies. Short term UBI was also struck down by leadership before the bill was to pass. Instead, you get one more check for $1,200. There is massive corruption weaved into the fabric of the “Heroes Act.”
Nonetheless, we have to give credit for the potential that essential workers will finally get the support they have deserved since the beginning of the pandemic. Let’s keep congress and our local governments accountable if this is passed. If it doesn’t pass, we are back to square 1 and demands need to be increased in both volume and severity. And, no matter what, we need to see the money before we call this a true win. This does not mean we should grow complacent. The working class needs to utilize this power to spread the wealth into our local communities, organizing the labor movement, and strengthening our abilities to empower ourselves.
The established powers of this country have been doing everything they can to keep the working class in a position of weakness. Corporations are utilizing time, money, and resources to resist the organization of workers. The government tells the public that the employers are responsible for keeping people safe. The employers say that the government is not doing enough to assist them with safety standards. The workers are either risking their jobs over their demands or accepting complacency and denying their true power as an individual or a collective force. What a damn mess and failure of a system that was regarded as the best the world had to offer. When will the workers figure out that they need to take control over this situation? Every person in a position of “authority” has done little in the way of leadership. The true heroes of the crisis have been the body of normal citizens acting together in SOLIDARITY to make the impact of the pandemic manageable. We were the ones who made the difference. We are the power structure of the world. We are powerful!
It’s time we hone that power. Demand from our representatives what the people deserve! If we continue to hold together the system that oppresses us, then we are doing harm to ourselves. If we continue to accept breadcrumbs while the well-off and powerful get cash bailouts and precedence over our lives and safety, we will always be the lesser ones within society. We aren’t allowed to talk back. We aren’t allowed to demonstrate without consequences. We aren’t allowed healthcare, clean air and water, education, a livable wage, debt forgiveness, or a secure future for our children. We aren’t allowed any of this until we stand together, organized and unwavering. It’s time to take back our world and move forward with the respect we, as humans, deserve.
Join the movement. Lend a helping hand to your community. Organize your workplace. Call your representatives. Stop spending your money supporting the oppressors. And be ready to strike, protest, and sacrifice!
It’s our time…
#WAWM #EssentialWorkers #StrongerTogether #StrikeForOurLives #PeoplesStrike #YourWorkerMyFamily
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