How’s it going, Philly? We’re somehow twenty-one weeks into quarantine, and things are no closer to “normal”: we’re still seeing 800-some new COVID cases a day, unemployment is still historically high, there are hurricanes, tornadoes, the China seeds... This guy ordered rosemary, but he got a dang squash instead! A China Squash!
Worse, the limited measures taken by the U.S. government -- $600 extra per week in unemployment benefits, eviction moratoriums, stay-at-home orders -- are starting to expire across the country, and, despite the obvious benefits to being the Free-Money-and-Did-Not-Kill-You Party, attempts to extend even these duct tape and spit measures have, so far, been stalled out in the Senate. The only “normal” things about this pandemic have been the responses of the political establishment: the Republicans don’t care about you, and the Democrats would rather not think of you at all, if they can avoid it.
And yet, this week, we got a well-timed reminder that the power to change society lies with organized workers in strategic industries; that workers can make corporate politicians do things that they really don’t want to do. It came from the Chicago Teachers Union, labor MVPs of the past decade (in education, at least), who, just by discussing a safety strike, forced Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot to walk back her plan for in-person education.
We have an important choice to make this month. Do we accept an early “return to normal,” even though it almost certainly means thousands of Americans will get sick and die? Or do we rally with unions like CTU, like Teamsters #623, like PFT, like the Temple Association of University Professionals, like Philly sanitation workers in AFSCME 33, — with unions who, if organized and supported by the community, have the power to win measures like a better second stimulus and the Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act, and to keep schools remote until it’s safe.
There are a ton of big fights coming up on those fronts, and more fights on fronts we could hardly predict in advance. Right now, we’re calling our state reps, especially Dwight Evans and Mary Gay Scanlon, about the Heath Care Emergency Guarantee Act (script here; these calls matter!), and we’re supporting organizing efforts through DSA’s Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee. Whatever happens next, this much is certain: Labor has power. Philly DSA stands with labor. And Philly DSA WILL be planting the China Squash. You can count on us. 🙂👍
Are you a union worker affected by the coronavirus crisis? Are you organizing in your shop or workplace to demand higher safety and sanitation standards? PHLDSA’s Labor Commission is convening a series of calls where representatives from unions in the greater Philadelphia area are discussing and coordinating responses. Email Paul Prescod for more information.
Policy Paper Presentation: Fair Work Week PAMonday, Aug 10 | 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm | Virtual
Phonebank for Medicare for AllThursday, Aug 13 | 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm | Virtual
Phonebank for Medicare for AllSunday, Aug 16 | 11:00 am – 1:00 pm | Virtual
Green New Deal Evaluation Commission MeetingMonday, Aug 17 | 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm | Virtual
Phonebank for Medicare for AllThursday, Aug 20 | 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm | Virtual
Women and Non Binary Comrades SocialThursday, Aug 20 | 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm | Virtual
Steering Committee MeetingThursday, Aug 6 | 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm | Virtual
Save the Norristown Sewer AuthorityWednesday, August 12 | 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm | 25 E Marshall St, Norristown, PA 19401
Suburban Happy HourThursday, August 13 | 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm | RSVP here to receive the Zoom link
Member Engagement Committee MeetingFriday, Aug 14 | 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm | Virtual
BuxMont DSA: Virtual New Members MeetingWednesday, August 19 | 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm | RSVP here to receive the Zoom link
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Harassment and Grievance ProcessIn accordance with Article XIII of our Bylaws, a commission has been formed to receive, process, and review grievances for disciplinary action. To read more about the process or to file a grievance you can do so here.
Stay safe and wash your hands,
Philly DSA Bulletin Team
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