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Stanford Hospital healthcare workers are facing a choice that is not really a choice. Employees were shocked to learn that Stanford Health Care recently demanded frontline workers “share the sacrifice” in this time of pandemic, that they choose between being furloughed, taking paid time off early, or accepting a 20% pay cut over a 10-week period. On May 21, dozens of hospital workers and concerned members of the public protested in Palo Alto.
Sat May 2 2020 (Updated 05/06/20)
Dueling May Day Protests at SF City Hall
A coalition of activists marked May Day with demands to cancel rent, mortgage and utility payments for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic with a car caravan at San Francisco city hall, and also counter-protested against a simultaneous Republican-sponsored demonstration to "open" up the economy. Republicans want to resume economic activity as soon as possible in an attempt to salvage the reelection of Trump, wrapping their intentions in American flags and slogans of "freedom" and "liberty."
Sat Apr 25 2020 (Updated 05/11/20)
SF May Day Car Caravan
A coalition of organizations is organizing a SF May Day Car Caravan on Friday, May 1 to demand the cancellation of rent, mortgage, and utility payments as well as homes for all and a debt free future for tenants, homeless residents, workers and families. The COVID-19 pandemic has further unveiled the deep inequality in our economic and housing systems. In California, renters make up almost half of the population. 55% of renters are considered cost-burdened, with low-income people and people of color suffering the worst instability.
Thousands of families in the US rely on the income from sex work to survive and have been thrown into a crisis by the coronavirus. Most sex workers are mothers, primarily single mothers. This crisis came on top of a crisis in poverty and homelessness. Much sex work inevitably involves close personal contact so the self-isolation rules and the shelter-in-place order mean that sex workers, like many other workers, can’t work safely. Yet there is still rent to pay and families to feed.
On April 11, a campesino appreciation caravan took place in Watsonville to recognize and thank all the farmworkers. Participants wrote, "I'm sure many of you have noticed the lack of acknowledgement of farmworkers, field workers, campesinos, our people, in the media. Specifically recognizing the work they do as essential to our society. Because of this, we mobilized to create a caravan of recognition and thankfulness."
On April 9, McDonald’s employees demonstrated by driving their cars in a manner to disrupt the fast food company’s business at three San Francisco Bay Area locations. They are demanding that the fast food chain give workers masks, gloves and a $3 an hour pay increase. Employees say that while the company is calling their jobs essential during the pandemic, it does not recognize that their lives are also essential.
Mon Mar 30 2020 (Updated 03/31/20)
Instacart Strikers Demand Proper Safety Precautions
On March 30, Instacart workers, known as "Shoppers," disconnected from their app-based gig economy jobs and vowed not to return to work until Instacart meets their demands. The list of demands include safety precautions at no cost to workers, hazard pay, and an extension and expansion of pay for workers impacted by COVID-19. The striking workers state, "They are putting us directly in harm’s way while profiting greatly. We cannot let this be considered normal."
Sat Mar 21 2020 (Updated 03/26/20)
California on Coronavirus Lockdown
California residents have been ordered to "stay at home" to suppress the spread of COVID-19. Stringent mitigation measures mean millions are without an income. Students face the possibility of going hungry. Curbside communities and incarcerated persons are especially at risk for contracting the virus. The stress and isolation of the pandemic take a toll on mental health. Not waiting for government action, people are stepping up with mutual aid efforts to assist those most in need.
Fri Mar 6 2020 (Updated 03/07/20)
Massive Turnout at UC Berkeley Day of Action
On March 5, UC Berkeley graduate student workers, undergraduate students and faculty joined together for a full day of work stoppage. The strike was organized by CAL COLA, an autonomous group of graduate workers and undergraduate students that began to organize in December 2019 in solidarity with the striking graduate workers at UC Santa Cruz. The Day of Action was part of the UC-wide Blackout Day in solidarity with Santa Cruz strikers who were fired last week, and organized independently of UAW Local 2865. CAL COLA states, "If teaching is truly at the core of the UC's mission, it is high time that they start paying graduate students - who do the vast majority of teaching within the UC system - a living wage."
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