Saurav Sarkar

Don’t Compromise on Farmworker Rights

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I covered the immigrant “mega marches” as a freelance reporter in 2006. In response to some horrific, punitive legislation passed by the House of Representatives, millions of immigrants took to the streets of Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, and other cities.

But unions didn’t take advantage of that energy in the streets to build a movement. Instead, union officials reacted—some for, some against—to policies coming from DC.

“I have pepper spray and I hold it every time I’m alone right now in case I see someone that is really frightening,” said New York City teacher Annie Tan, who is Chinese American.

By February 2020, friends of hers had already been verbally harassed on the subway. One had been deliberately coughed on. Another was too scared to take the train anymore.

Many Asian Americans and Asian immigrants are experiencing similar incidents.

Communications Workers Fight Telecom Giant for MLK Day Off

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One multinational company is using Martin Luther King Day to issue a slap in the face to its union, undermining the very legacy of the civil rights leader.

Louisiana-based telecommunications giant Lumen Technologies (formerly CenturyLink) announced to its staff October 23 that it would be newly establishing a company holiday on MLK Day—but for non-union workers only.

The hypocrisy of leaving out 10,000 union workers on MLK Day was not well received by Anna Robbs, an African-American employee and union steward.

Workers will feel the ramifications of this unprecedented year long into the future.

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed 300,000 lives, destroyed millions of jobs, busted gaping holes in public budgets, and magnified the myriad inequalities that have come to define life in the United States.

Notwithstanding a few bright spots, the labor movement struggled to find its footing in the biggest workplace health and safety crisis of our lifetimes.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout have hammered the Latino community.

Latinos make up 40 percent of COVID-19 deaths after adjusting for age, according to the Centers for Disease Control, but only 19 percent of the population. This is the biggest disparity of any major ethnic or racial group.

Why the disproportionate impact? The reason is work.

Unions Take Up the Black Lives Banner

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The Black Lives Matter uprising has prompted strong statements about racism and police accountability from top union officials, but the participation of the labor movement has been limited. Several internationals have, to their credit, encouraged their members.

More of the initiative to take action has come from below, with local unions and rank and filers organizing or participating in local demonstrations, pushing local governments and schools to shift resources from policing to community needs, and confronting racism in their own workplaces and industries.

Twin Cities Labor Mobilizes Against George Floyd Murder

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The organized labor movement has begun swinging into action to support protests against the racist police murder of Minneapolis resident George Floyd.

Floyd was filmed being suffocated to death under the knee of police officer Derek Chauvin on Monday in a video that reverberated around the country and has sent the Twin Cities into turmoil.

Protesters lit shops and even a police precinct on fire on Thursday as public rage boiled over in Minneapolis’s third precinct over the ever-continuing string of police murders of Black people in the United States.

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