July 20, 2020

Workers across the country are walking out TODAY–July 20–in defense of Black lives


July 20, 2020

Contact: Nick Voutsinos, Jobs With Justice, nick@jwj.org, 717-413-7613

Jobs With Justice joins nationwide strike for Black lives on July 20, demands real action against white supremacy

Washington, DC – Today, 129 days since the death of Breonna Taylor — and 129 days of her murders walking free — Jobs With Justice joins a national work stoppage to demand justice for Breonna, and for all Black lives victimized by white supremacy.

The Strike for Black Lives, led by progressive organizations such as Jobs With Justice, SEIU, and Fight for $15, will consist of thousands of working people and activists from across the country. Each participant in the strike has taken the 8:46 Pledge, committing to take a knee, hold a moment of silence, or walk off the job at noon for a total of eight minutes and 46 seconds — the amount of time Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the neck of George Floyd. Other participants will be striking or protesting for the entirety of the day, as well as taking the eight minute and 46 second knee at noon.

“No more black squares, no more empty statements, no more symbolic gestures” said Jobs With Justice Executive Director Erica Smiley. “Black people are dying — not just from police violence — but from a racist healthcare system that leaves us most exposed to diseases like COVID-19, from racist corporations that grow profits at the expense of our labor and our lives, from a racist housing system that evicts us before anyone else, and from a racist Congress that leaves us behind. We strike until those who are complicit in white supremacy finally put action behind their words.”

The Strike for Back Lives and Jobs With Justice are using this moment to make the following demands of corporate and political stakeholders:

  1. Justice for Black communities through the elimination of barriers to Black unionization, healthcare, and housing.
  2. Elected officials must commit to tackling systemic racism through policy, not words.
  3. Corporations take immediate action to dismantle white supremacy. That means allowing their Black workers to unionize and negotiate for better wages and benefits.
  4. The immediate implementation of a $15 per hour minimum wage, fully funded health coverage, and paid sick leave for all.

The Strike for Black Lives adds to Jobs With Justice’s existing work on the expansion of collective bargaining, showing that, when working people come together, they have power to renegotiate conditions beyond the workplace — whether that includes the access to healthcare, housing, or democracy.

Follow @jwjnational on Twitter and the hashtag #StrikeForBlackLives for more updates.


Jobs With Justice is the country’s leading nonprofit in the fight for workplace and economic democracy. Comprising of a national network of local affiliates in nearly every state, Jobs With Justice brings together coalitions of unions, worker organizations, community groups, students, and faith institutions to win concrete improvements in people’s lives.

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