NEW YORK CWAers CALL FOR CORPORATIONS & ELECTED OFFICIALS TO #PROTECTALLWORKERS
Staten Island, NY was the scene of a massive car procession and rally on Saturday, May 16 organized in part by CWA Locals 1102 and 1180 and attended by dozens of other union and community groups. The procession drove a 15 mile route through Staten Island to pay tribute to the workers who have continued going to work through the COVID-19 pandemic in order to keep essential services running. Rally participants also demanded that corporations and elected officials protect all workers regardless of citizenship status, and deliver the message that everyone deserves safety, sufficient pay, paid family and sick leave, and adequate social services support if they have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.
The rally also included a Zoom press conference, during which workers and union leaders spoke about the importance of reopening the economy in a way that keeps everyone safe.
“Workers on the frontlines of the crisis need to be front and center determining when and how we reopen,” said CWA District 1 Vice President Dennis Trainor. “From our healthcare workers to all of our essential workers on the frontlines, CWA members have been risking their lives to do their part during this crisis - and I applaud them for once again taking the lead in demanding a safe and fair reopening that focuses on workers’ voices. We cannot continue to put lives at risk and look towards lifting social distancing orders without the necessary protection for workers and the general public.”
“We have an opportunity to fix some things that were wrong in the past,” said Steve Lawton, President of CWA Local 1102. “The fact that we didn’t have enough PPE; the fact that there wasn’t enough support for workers; the fact that the virus upended or affected people of color and immigrant workers at a higher rate than other workers. These are opportunities for us to move forward and fix those issues. And if we rush forward too quickly to reopen and not care for those issues, we’re gonna make the same mistakes.”