Essential workers in supermarkets and restaurants allow others to have the best food and products at their fingertips. We must often serve customers who are rude and entitled.
Because of our labor, more affluent people are freed from the labor of preparing their own food, while we are often denied meal-time with our families.
Management benefits from being able to hire or fire us at-will and pay us low wages. On top of that, the threat of deportation keeps immigrants in our industry without status afraid to organize or stand up for themselves.
But we can stand up for ourselves and win.
Some of us already have.
We have been winning gains together, throughout our industry and community. Here are some examples:
- Summer 2018, outdoor worker slowdowns during summer heat to allow for better health & safety at large retail store
- Fall 2019, grocery workers make management deal with roach infestation after months of neglect and stalling
- Spring 2020, retail workers force store management to comply with customer mask mandate
- Fall 2020, retail workers warn customers about ecocidal toxins marketed as pesticides
- Spring 2021, workers get restaurant back-of-house to implement composting
- Fall 2021, grocery workers make management buy heavy warm jackets for freezer room
- Summer 2021, grocery workers contest scheduling through collective action
We did all of this ourselves, as mostly young workers with no formal organizing experience. And we’re just getting started.
We want to control our schedules and our lives.
We want an end to sexual harassment at work and everywhere else.
We want to be paid like the essential workers we are.
We want to stand up for one another.
And we want you to join us.