Southwest Workers Union unites with frontline workers in supporting the health and safety of communities in this extractive economy known as capitalism. Mayfirst is a significant day in history that shifted workers rights. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we find ourselves among one of the most historic strikes led by grocery, healthcare, delivery and other essential workers. Workers have always been essential and we support their demands and acknowledge the efforts they have taken to ensure that our grocery stores remain shelved and open, that our sick loved ones receive the best care, and that our deliveries and mail arrive promptly to our homes and so much more.Today, as corporations are profiteering from disaster capitalism and raking in record breaking profits and bailouts, essential workers are left out of their equations. We are supporting the MayDay Strike and the People’s Bailout Movements asking our supporters for a halt on buying as essential workers strike to have their demands met.
SWU has traditionally organized marches, protests, clinics, gatherings and worker fairs, based on the direction of our members, to uplift healing, and resiliency of the lowest paid workers and to demand living wages, paid sick time, and healthy communities where we live, work, play, pray and connect to the land.
This year, members asked us to go back to the streets as we saw a continuing attack on workers rights in San Antonio. During our monthly meetings, members were laying the groundwork for a march through downtown followed by a community fair filled with services,healing, food and music.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed all of those plans. Today we continue to adapt to the changing climate that has us sheltered in place and practicing social distancing. Our visioning sessions of economies led by workers, with respect to mother earth, and capitalism ending, has now become much more achievable to wider populations. Now is the time to continues these practices, and organizing that we have already put in motion.
We continue to follow the direction of our member and supporter base and have shifted our organizing work to making direct relief aid that includes wellness skills such as meditation, healing herbs, and growing your own food, produce baskets, mini-gardens, rent and utility relief and undocumented funding.
On May 1st, 2020 we are proud to have:
In the past two weeks delivered 95 community care packages including grow bags, and or fresh food boxes, seeds, and personalized letters to our youth.
In the aftermath of COVID-19, we are prioritizing service based outreach, taking the lead from the needs of our community, while still ensuring that we are challenging systemic oppression within policy making, agencies, and directly creating community systems to support one another. Uplifting our values and offering solidarity and healing are at the center of our work. We ask that other non-profits, community and advocacy groups that support workers and community members though traditional and political organizing, especially those running on multi-million-dollar budgets, read the current moment and engage in direct financial relief of their members and supporters.
SWU will use this time to reflect, offer learnings, and continue to build spaces that are decentralized, community led structures that address the demands of our community within economic and environmental justice. This moment has taught of the necessity to advance and invest in community spaces that are self governed and with focus on the healing and health of our community.