As trade unionists and as Americans, we were all outraged by the vicious murder of George Floyd. We are heartened by the uprising of hundreds of thousands of Americans, Black, Brown and white, demanding an end to racism and declaring: "Black Lives Matter."
Because of COVID-19, it has been difficult for many of us to show our solidarity with this movement.
But on Thursday, June 11, at 12 noon, we will take a stand against racism by doing what trade unionists do when they are protesting for what's right and fair: Stopping Work.
We are asking all of our members to stop and reflect for 8 minutes and 46 seconds-to remember the length of time the Minneapolis police officer had his knee on George Floyd's neck.
Obviously, all of our members work in different circumstances. Many are still working at home. Some must care for patients or engage with customers. We urge you to observe the 8:46 in whatever way works best for you:
Gather in a small group in your workplace, socially distanced, and hold signs in solidarity. Downloadable signs are available at cwa-union.org/cwa-against-racism-downloadable-materials
- Pull your truck over, get out
- Stand up in your work location
- Take a knee in your work location
- Use your lunch break to hold a socially distanced picket line outside your work location
- Take a selfie that can be posted in solidarity. Post this with your selfie: "8:46. Stop Work and Reflect. Black Lives Matter. #CWAforBlackLives #WalkoutForBlackLives"
Do not abandon patients and customers. Figure out a way to engage in the protest that works for you.
On Thursday morning, officers and shop stewards should reach out to local management to make them aware of the plans for protest and ask them to join the action.
We strongly encourage you to take pictures! You can share them yourself and use the hashtags #WalkoutForBlackLives and #CWAForBlackLives and/or send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share on the District 1 Facebook page and Twitter.
This is not an action that we take lightly. Any time we stop work for any length of time, it's serious business. But we are asking you to observe these moments of solidarity on Thursday, because the problems of racism and police violence are deadly serious.
Thank you in advance and Solidarity Forever!