1,000 Strikes since March 1st – Tampa Fast Food Workers Strike – 100 Days of Breonna Taylor Protests

Fast Food Workers Strike in Tampa (McKenna Schueler/ CL Tampa)

Greetings from the Burgh, where we’re clocking out early today to prepare for our Labor Day Picnic this weekend. 

If you’re in the Pittsburgh area, be sure to attend our socially distant Labor Day picnic. And please RSVP on our Facebook event so we can get a good headcount. 

Donate to our Labor Day Picnic Fund.

Over 1,000 Strikes Since March 1

We wanted to send a quick update to report that Payday’s Strike Tracker has now recorded more than 1,000 strikes across the U.S. since March 1.

Earlier this week we surpassed the 1,000-strike count after a series of fast-food worker strikes hit both Tampa and LA. 

(For more on this strike wave, see our long-form “How Black & Brown Workers Are Redefining Strikes in the Digital COVID Age.”)

In Tampa, pro-worker forces attempted to raise support for Amendment 2, which would raise Florida’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026. 

“No essential worker should be making poverty wages, plain and simple,”  striking worker 60-year-old Black McDonalds worker Gail Rogers said in a press release. “On just $9.60 an hour, nearly every dollar I make goes straight to my rent, leaving just pennies for doctors’ bills and other needs. I’m not alone in my struggles and that’s why essential workers throughout Florida are coming together to make our voices heard this November for economic and racial justice, and for $15 an hour.”

For more, check out CL Tampa 

Black Workers Get Approval for Unemployment Insurance at 1/2 Rate of White Workers

Nearly 27 million Americans are unemployed and many are clinging to unemployment benefits as a meager lifeline. However, reporting from ProPublica shows that Black workers receive unemployment benefits at nearly half the rate of white workers. CNBC writes: 

Just 13% of Black people out of work from April to June received unemployment benefits, compared with 24% of White workers, 22% of Hispanic workers and 18% of workers of other races, according to an analysis completed by Nyanya Browne and William Spriggs of Howard University using national survey data from the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.

Spriggs, who is also chief economist to the AFL-CIO, tells CNBC Make It the racial benefits gap has persisted over time but appears to be worse during the current economic downturn. After the 2008 financial crisis, for example, 24% of jobless Black workers received unemployment compared with 33% of jobless White workers, according to a 2012 study of national claims data by the Urban Institute.

For more, head to CNBC. 

“100 Days of Breonna Taylor Protests in Louisville” Series Launched at Louisville Courier-Journal

At the Louisville-Courier Journal, reporters produced an interactive piece on the 100 days of straight protest over the police killing of Breonna Taylor, including a timeline spelling out in detail what occurred: 

The protesters always know what day it is.

Not the day of the week — those blend together — but the number of days it has been since May 28, when the Breonna Taylor protests began in Louisville. They say it aloud each night at Sixth and Jefferson, the de facto protest headquarters, as a rallying cry and motivating sentiment.

Today, Sept. 4, marks the 100th day of protests in Louisville.

For the full story with slideshows, head to the Louisville Courier-Journal. 

Frontline Community Health Care Workers in Immigrant Communities

Pregnancy is no easy feat, but as Prism’s Tina Vasquez reports, undocumented pregnant mothers have had it especially rough. Thankfully, community health care workers have served as a critical lifeline: 

In New Jersey’s immigrant community, doula Teresita Carrasquillo is considered a godsend. Families call her at all hours—pregnant people have questions about something they learned in their childbirth education class; new mothers want additional tips on breastfeeding or help getting diapers; and women who gave birth months prior just want to remain connected. Carrasquillo becomes a friend and confidant to undocumented women navigating one of life’s biggest transitions in a country that is increasingly hostile to immigrants. But as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage Latinx communities, trained community health workers like Carrasquillo have also become lifelines.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nationwide Latina mothers make up nearly half of the coronavirus cases among pregnant women. As The Washington Post reported, information about the impact of the coronavirus on pregnant people continues to be limited. A report from the CDC in June found that infected pregnant women may be more likely than infected nonpregnant women to be treated in an intensive care unit or need a ventilator, and pregnant women who are Black or Latinx appear to be disproportionately affected by the coronavirus during pregnancy.

Read the full story at Prism.

That’s all for today folks. Donate so we can pay for our first annual Labor Day Picnic (RSVP here on Facebook)

If you have any stories or suggestions for our next newsletter, send an email to [email protected].

About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing over 1,800 stories from 46 states, Elk was the only American reporter in the room with Lula on the morning of the election & traveled with him to the Oval Office. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]

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