Workers’ Collective Mourns Victims of Covid19 and Broken Promise of Emancipation in Junteeteenth Action

Workers’ Collective Mourns Victims of Covid19 and Broken Promise of Emancipation in Junteeteenth Action

Workers Collective, a new coalition representing workers across Amazon, Whole Foods, Target, FedEx, and Gig Workers’ Collective, joins Bay Area Amazonians in organizing a vigil this Juneteenth 2020 to honor the lives of Black women killed by police violence and our co-workers who have died from COVID-19 or been injured while on the job.

Participants will gather on June 19 at 8:30 pm to pay their respects and demand justice for the victims of exploitative business practices. A wall projection by the California-based artist AE Marling will be displayed, and attendees will be able to read aloud the names of their co-workers affected by COVID-19 during an open-mic session. The projection will take place at the Amazon Fullfillment Center, 6015 Giant Highway, in Richmond, CA.

Amid the global protests against the murder of George Floyd and countless others at the hands of the police, the vigil explicitly calls attention to the unique plight of Black women. Though Black women are murdered by police at similar rates to men, their stories are regularly omitted from the public narrative. “We would like to widen the lens of the conversation,” says Adrienne Williams, an Amazon driver in Richmond, California. “As blackness intersects with femininity, Black women are even more invisible, violence towards us is even more acceptable, and our voices take even longer to be heard, if ever.”

Essential jobs are disproportionately filled by women of color — often their households’ primary breadwinners — affirms Pacey Hackett, a Fedex worker in LA, “yet we are denied adequate PPE and sanitary working conditions, not to mention a living wage, putting us at a greater risk of getting sick or dying from Coronavirus.”

Our group also takes to task solidarity statements made by these companies in solidarity with black lives. “Their labor practices haven’t changed,” says Tom, a Fedex worker in Oklahoma. “Since the COVID pandemic began, at least 8 workers have died at Amazon, 4 at Whole Foods, 8 at FedEx, and countless others have fallen ill. It is abundantly clear that the structural violence being perpetrated against Black women and all low-wage workers in the workplace is a product of the same system of racism that leads to police brutality against Black bodies. We intend the vigil on June 19th to raise awareness of these insidious structural inequities.”

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap