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Thousands across U.S. set to walk off jobs in 'Strike for Black Lives'


Tens of thousands of workers nationwide are expected to walk off the job Monday in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, hoping to draw closer scrutiny to the income inequality and systemic racism that organizers say has grown more entrenched during the pandemic.

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The "Strike for Black Lives," as leaders have dubbed the planned action in more than two dozen cities, includes workers from a broad range of industries. Service Employees International Union, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, American Federation of Teachers and members of dozens of other labor and political groups plan to take part.

Participants are calling for "an unequivocal declaration that Black Lives Matter" from business and political leaders; action from government officials to "reimagine our economy and democracy" with civil rights in mind; businesses to "dismantle racism, white supremacy, and economic exploitation"; and access to union organizing, according to a list of demands posted on the strike's website.

In Washington, strikers are expected to gather at noon on Capitol Hill in support of the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or Heroes Act, as talks intensify over a fourth coronavirus relief package. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is set to join strikers in New York outside Trump Tower. Health workers at a nursing home outside Los Angeles are planning walkouts during multiple shifts. Other workers in the city are planning a car caravan down President Barack Obama Boulevard, a major thoroughfare on the city's west side.

If workers can't leave their jobs for the rest of the day, organizers encourage them to at noon take a knee for 8 minutes and 46 seconds - the amount of time a Minneapolis police officer knelt on the neck of George Floyd, killing him and leading to a wave of protests nationwide - hold 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence, or walk off the job for the same length of time.

 

Published : July 20, 2020

By : The Washington Post · Jacob Bogage · NATIONAL, BUSINESS, RACE, CAREER-WORKPLACE