Weekly Update: Taking Action on May Day, Celebrate Mother’s Day and more

Dear allies and supporters,

Every May Day — International Workers’ Day — we celebrate the legacy of our labor movement and the undying efforts of our leaders who have spent their lives fighting for the working class. In the midst of this pandemic, it is even more important for us to value and build on that legacy. 

This year, we joined forces with our partners to highlight the efforts of millions of essential workers who are fighting this crisis and saving lives each day. For weeks, we have demanded safety equipment for these workers, and this May Day, we, once again, raised our voices to demand the same.

We are also proud of our work with the Green Justice Coalition on World Asthma Day. Together, we continue the fight for low-income communities and communities of color who have, for too long, suffered through environmental injustices and the resulting health conditions.  

In this newsletter, you will learn about these efforts and more. We hope that you echo our efforts and are ready to join in. You can help us promote these updates to your network by sharing our Facebook posts or by following and retweeting us on our new Twitter handle. Also, receive regular updates from CLU by signing up on our website

From Social Distancing to Social Safety: A May Day Conversation

On International Workers’ Day, the Massachusetts COVID-19 Response Alliance along with Boston-area essential workers, advocacy leaders, and educators held a livestream event to discuss life on the frontlines of the COVID-19 health crisis and the State’s obligations to ensure safety and equity. 

Speakers included Roxana Rivera of SEIU 32BJ, who was recently quoted in the Bay State Banner saying, “It is really heartbreaking that workers who have paid taxes cannot access unemployment in these times. This pandemic has obviously highlighted what is wrong with this world. We’ve had thousands of workers laid off and hundreds who have been infected. Several have died.” Watch the livestream here.

Green Justice Coalition Hosts Asthma Town Hall

At a virtual town hall on Tuesday, community leaders raised concerns over the significant number of asthma cases in Massachusetts. They identified air pollution burdens, too little green public transit, and the absence of access to health care for millions of low-income people and communities of color as the main contributors. COVID-19 has exposed and magnified the situation, adding tragic burdens that further concentrate this crisis. As a part of the #LetUsBreathe campaign, the coalition demanded that the State take action to resolve these problems. Watch the livestream of the Asthma Town Hall here.


Take Action

Amplify Womxn’s Labor This Mother’s Day

Our partner, Matahari Women Workers Center, has launched a Mother’s Day campaign to raise $5,000 this week in support of its organizing efforts during this pandemic.

Matahari’s plans include:

  • Member leaders, Lydia and Jerry, boldly sharing the plight of undocumented workers and families as seen in The Washington Post and the BBC.
  • Resourcing more than $85,000 of direct cash assistance to members who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
  • Helping to launch the $1 million Mass UndocuFund.
  • Rapidly disseminating virtual and multilingual Workers’ Know Your Rights sessions led by and for domestic and immigrant workers.

If you and your family have enough to get you through this difficult time, please consider making a donation to Matahari today to help them continue our critical movement work. 


Pandemic Profiteer Watch

Corporations with a history of misconduct should not guide Mass reopening

When Governor Baker’s Reopening Advisory Board (RAB) was announced, the most noted voices were the ones that were excluded: organized labor,  occupational health experts, frontline workers, community leaders, and more. Instead, Baker’s board is packed with corporate executives, who make up 9 of 17 members. This is a problem because the pandemic is first and foremost a public health crisis, and corporate executives representing the interests of their companies cannot be fully relied upon to protect the broader public good. When it comes to Baker’s RAB, it was troublingly easy to identify several corporations with histories of conduct suggesting business priorities that conflict with the public interest. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at the worrisome track record of three corporations with representatives on the RAB: Fidelity, Kronos, and eClinicalworks. 

If there is something you think we should feature in our weekly communications, please email Lindsay McCluskey at lindsay@massclu.org.  

Thank you for reading!

In Solidarity,

Community Labor United

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