May Day is more than just a celebration of spring; it also coincides with International Worker’s Day. So it makes sense that more than 300,000 non-union food chain workers and tens of thousands of unionized service workers chose May 1 as the day they’ll be carrying out a large-scale strike — one whose repercussions are bound to be felt well beyond the food industry.
According to Buzzfeed News, the protest will be led by the Food Chain Workers Alliance as well as the Restaurant Opportunities Center United. The former group announced the event in a post on Facebook, writing, “Friends, allies and fellow workers, today we announce, with boldness and defiance, that our member organizations have voted unanimously to engage in a General Strike with movement partners on May 1, 2017, International Workers' Day.”
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In the corresponding event page, they elaborated: “We will not sit by as families are shattered by immigration raids, Native sovereignty is violated, Muslims are banned, and Black and Brown communities face even more criminalization, trans people excluded and while corporate interest drive down wages, safety protections, organizing rights, and rapidly destroy the environment. On this international day of action, we strike for dignified jobs for all.”
Participants — which are to include “all marginalized people, their networks, and their allies” — are urged to stay home from work, not go to school, and not to buy anything on May 1. The FCWA has also created a fund to help low-income workers who would otherwise be unable to afford to take the day off.