By: Ashmar Mandou
On Monday morning, members of Chicago Community and Workers Rights, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos, Domestic Worker and Day Labor Center of Chicago, Chicago Workers Collaborative, Raise the Floor Alliance, Enalce Chicago, and many others stood together at a press conference held at Universidad Popular to encourage workers to take a stand on May 1st, and participate in a labor stoppage to demand safe working conditions, livable wages, dignity and respect at the workplace, and respect for the right to organize. The national call to action for May 1st also includes:
- Stop the criminalization, mass incarceration and deportation of Black, Latinx, migrant, Arab, Muslim, and communities of color;
- Defend workers’ right to organize, unionize and to earn a living wage;
- Defend the rights of women, people with disabilities, transgender, LGBTQ and gender non-conforming people;
- Act on climate change, to create jobs and economic opportunities in the migrant, poor, and communities of color that are disproportionately threatened by pollution and climate change;
- Defend and fully fund public services, including public education, transportation and health care.
The Worker Centers are introducing a letter workers without union representation can present to their employer to notify their legal right to participate in a collective action on International Worker’s Day. “Workers have a right to take collective action to demand better working conditions and to protect themselves and their families against the attacks we are seeing from the current administration,” said Rosi Carrasco from Chicago Community and Workers Rights. “You need at least two co-workers to sign the letter but the more coworkers that sign the letter, the stronger protections you will have,” said Martin Unzueta, executive director of Chicago Community and Workers Rights. “May Day is rooted in the struggle for workers’ rights, dignity and respect. This includes all workers, especially immigrant workers in this country who are more likely to work hazardous jobs with low wages and without union representation. On May Day we will take to the streets and demand justice for workers and our families.”
Community and labor groups from across Chicago and Cook County will stand together in solidarity to protect communities that are under attack. The marches and rallies across Chicago are aimed at Donald Trump’s belief that safety and security can only be gained with increased criminalization and stricter policing within communities, and the efforts to roll back the rights that communities have won over the years. On May 1st groups will gather at 11am at Ogden & Roosevelt to march to Union Park for a rally at 1pm before marching to downtown for a rush hour rally at 4pm.