As workers around the country fight to stay safe amidst COVID-19, Nick Wurst of ISG spoke with Rich Libby, shop steward at Stop and Shop for UFCW Local 1445. Stop and Shop workers around New England are fighting for safer working conditions and increased hazard pay. Rich was active as one of the leading strikers on the picket lines in Worcester, MA during the 2019 contract strike.
International Workers’ Day, also known as May Day, was born from the titanic struggle of the working class for the eight-hour workday, and throughout the years it has served as a flash point for workers’ struggles. Many past May Day struggles have been about workplace safety, and have meant life or death for the workers involved. This year, workers globally are organizing against capitalism’s failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the capitalist economy hurls deeper into recession, the federal government and central banks are producing trillions of dollars that they conveniently couldn’t find for increasing the federal minimum wage or other needed social benefits. The trillions of dollars being released during the COVID-19 crisis are mostly being dumped into the pockets of the rich and corporations in a failed effort to prop up the stock market.