A recent report on Chicago-area workers in the food industry shines new light on the conditions these “essential workers” face. In December, the workers’ rights organizations Warehouse Workers for Justice (WWJ) and Chicago Workers’ Collaborative (CWC) interviewed 90 Chicago-area workers in food production, distribution and logistics (10% of those interviewed are white, 42% are Black and 48% are Latino). Eighty-five percent of the workers interviewed said that when employees raised Covid-19 safety concerns, bosses either failed to respond to complaints, retaliated against people who spoke out, or took actions that were not helpful. Sixty-one percent said they had to go without pay when they were ill or forced to undergo quarantine. Eighty-three percent of the workers who were infected with Covid-19 report that “they did not receive paid sick leave from their employer or government assistance.” And a stunning 96% of workers interviewed said they were not receiving hazard pay.
THREE OTHER ARTICLES WORTH READING
- Unity Is Impossible Without Accountability, by Chris Winters. President Biden’s inaugural address focused on bringing the nation together. But that won’t happen if “unity” means we revert to the way things used to be.
- Put the Money Printer on Autopilot, by Claudia Sahm. If a Biden relief package isn’t open-ended, and tied to a full recovery, America is doomed to repeat last-minute partisan fights over aid.
- Congressional Progressive Caucus Priorities, by the Institute for Policy Studies, Kairos Center, Repairers of the Breach, and The Poor People’s Campaign. The authors examine the stakes for women, people of color, and poor and low-income families in the People’s Agenda of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
“The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy. Mr. Hoover didn’t know that money trickled up. Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night, anyhow. But it will at least have passed through the poor fellow’s hands.” ~~Will Rogers, St. Petersburg Times, Nov. 26, 1932
On this date at Daily Kos in 2008—Wall Street’s Wild, Wild Ride:
Wall Street jitters continued at midday after the market opened with a 465-point dive, then began recovering most of that loss in the wake of an emergency rate cut by the feds from 4.25% to 3.5%–a cut deeper than any since 1984, according to U.S. News & World Report.
“The tepid reaction of investors to the surprise cut may be due to a sense that the Fed senses the economy is in worse shape than it originally thought,” according to USA Today. Imagine that: years of happy talk, denial, deregulation and creating one’s own reality ultimately have consequences. Who’d have thought?