Labor Day is a celebration of America’s social and economic achievements.
If you have a job that pays the bills and doesn’t threaten your health, today is a day to be thankful. Your hard work and some luck (from your circumstances of birth and those of your actions) have brought you to where you are today.
Workers face aggressive tactics
America may be the land of opportunity, but the route to that opportunity is often paved with miserable jobs. The history of labor is filled with aggressive tactics against unions who organize for not only better wages, but also increased safety.
Wages: People who work full time for minimum wage cannot rent a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in America, based on one full-time paycheck.
Safety: There are still workplaces where employers can physically and sexually abuse workers with impunity.
The problem is big and it is complicated. It is the poorest among us, those with the fewest options, who work in these kinds of dangerous places. Sometimes when they win the right to humane work conditions, they are arrested and will be deported. Here’s an example from Mississippi.
Attacking immigrants to bust unions
The union at Koch Foods in Mississippi won a settlement regarding sexual and physical harassment. Among the beneficiaries of that settlement were undocumented immigrants, who were then arrested by ICE on August 7, 2019.
If you find this outrageous, there is something you can do.
A message from Dr. Vivian Price.
We are reaching out as union brothers and sisters in solidarity with union members of UFCW Local 1529, plant workers of Koch Foods in Mississippi, which was raided by ICE agents this past month. Please read this statement and distribute widely.
The ICE raids at 2 plant locations in Mississippi resulted in the detention of 680 food workers. These raids not only strike fear and terror in the hearts of immigrants, but are a calculated move to enable greater exploitation of immigrants. We now know that there was an EEOC settlement which favored the workers in claims against Koch Foods for sexual and physical harassment. We also know that the timing of the raids is not unique to labor, because it has happened before and will continue to happen for the simple truth that it increases the insecurity of immigrants, threatens the lives of immigrant workers everywhere and makes union organizing more difficult.
More importantly, and most devastating, is the traumatic impact on the children and the families of these workers. Even for those who have been released from detention, their lives have been turned upside down. They cannot return to work and are still in immigration proceedings, and their children have enormous fear of being separated from their parents again.
It is with this reality that we organize and come together to support those who have been economically, physically, and emotionally impacted by the ICE raids, while their employer goes untouched by law enforcement. We will not stand idly by!
Please donate to the UFCW Local 1529 Strike and Emergency Fund and share this campaign of collective giving, widely. They will be helping families out as many have been released and then lost their jobs.
“We ask those wish to donate for UFCW members to make check payable and send to: “
UFCW Local 1529 Strike and Emergency Fund
UFCW Local 1529
8205 Macon Road
Cordova, TN 38018
Dr. Vivian Price