A network of more than 300,000 farmworkers, servers, cooks and food-manufacturers, including a large local chain of the Service Employees International Union, is joining a May 1 nationwide strike “to stop the relentless attacks of the Trump administration and its allies in corporate America.”
Issued by the Food Chain Workers Alliance and the California-based Service Workers West (SEIU-USWW), the announcement is the latest sign that momentum is growing for the day of “no work, school, or shopping,” timed for International Workers’ Day, also known as May Day.
“My coworkers and I had to make a choice: wait around for Trump to disrupt our livelihoods and families or stand united to fight,” said Ricardo Flores, a food manufacturer member of Brandworkers, a Long Island City, New York, workers’ center for food manufacturing laborers. “We chose to struggle until the end because it’s better to have a chance at justice than suffer guaranteed misery.”
Movimiento Cosecha, or Harvest Movement, has spent months organizing for Un Dia Sin Inmigrantes (A Day Without Immigrants) on May Day. The organization ultimately hopes to build toward a one-week strike of five to eight million undocumented workers to win the “permanent protection, dignity, and respect of immigrants.”
“We’ve been talking to a lot of unions and members of the immigrant rights movement, and it's clear that there's a lot of alignment over a May Day strike,” Carlos Rojas Rodriguez, an organizer with Movimiento Cosecha, said in an interview with AlterNet. “The organizations are responding to the energy they are hearing from their bases. This is an opportunity to move to the left.”
Cosecha will be joined by the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Campaign director Andrea Cristina Mercado told AlterNet, "The National Domestic Workers Alliance is mobilizing domestic workers across the country for a general strike and consumer boycott on May first. For all of us who can participate, it's imperative to show that movements across the country are united against raids, against racism, and in support of decent work."