Listen To The Demands Of The Working Poor

May 1 is the historic Labor Day where laborers across the world would strike, riot, and pressure their governments, and the Oligarchs, to give in to their demands. The American Labor Day is a ruse to help laborers forget the more effective tools at their disposal such as strikes and blockades that cost the Oligarchs fortunes. Unfortunately, labor demands are like Genies’ wishes. The people in power will give them the wishes when under enough pressure, but it is hard to make a wish that the Genie cannot then use against the wisher. In the case of a genie that is because it makes for good exposition of morality. In the Oligarchs case, it is because they have teams full of lawyers to work out how to make a killing on the smallest technical details in a contract.

Many people have said that Occupy could have really won if they had demands. This ignores the fact that labor has been making demands to unresponsive ears for centuries. And it ignores the fact that the problems labor wants to address are systemic. Labor exploitation is not a defect of Capitalism, it is the main feature. To address it, labor requires a comprehensive plan that destroys its economic cage and replaces it with a system that is responsive to all of society. A society that sees an unmet basic need among any member of its society like contemporary society sees a situation where an Oligarch wants to buy or steal the publicly held resources of a developing country.

So, the #WorkersMarch people came together to draft their demands, which are below. There are a lot of demands. Some of them are contradictory. Some of them are written with the Oxford comma, others are barbarian. But reading this list should give people who cannot understand the frustration of the working poor a glimpse into the wall of obstacles and booby-traps that make American social mobility a joke in the developed world.

Attend a Mayday event on May 1 and accept that to beat the Oligarchs, we need to be a little unreasonable.

The #WorkersMarch Demands

Basic health, safety and security rights for all Workers:

  • Humans before profit
  • Clean water, air and environment for all
  • ​Physically and mentally healthy work environments for all
  • ​End the exploitation of workers for profit
  • ​End the exploitation of our environment for profit
  • End all war for profit
  • ​Real protection from sexual harassment/abuse for all
  • Jobs guarantee for all
  • ​A Living Minimum Wage for all, not less than $15 per hour, strive for $20 per hour
  • ​Higher wages for workers with more skill and/or education
  • ​Universal Healthcare for all
  • ​Adequate, affordable housing for all
  • Universal Basic Income for all residents 16 years of age and older
  • ​Guaranteed sick days for all
  • ​Free or reasonable child care for all
  • ​Guaranteed paid parental leave for all parents of newborns/adopted children, on track with the rest of the world
  • ​Guaranteed paid family leave, including paid leave to care for adult parents
  • ​Increased unemployment benefits to cover a living wage
  • ​Tuition-free, quality, federally funded, locally controlled public education from pre-k through college or trade school
  • ​Free career training for the unemployed and underemployed
  • ​End the racist war on drugs
  • ​Legalize cannabis as an alternative pain management method for injured and sick workers
  • ​Improved public transportation nationwide
  • Transition to green infrastructure jobs
  • ​Fair trade deals that benefit US workers and do not exploit foreign workers
  • ​Sensible tax code for all workers
  • ​Prohibition of outsourcing of jobs to other countries by US owned companies
  • ​Shortened standard “full time” work week to 32 hours
  • ​Full separation of church and state

​Worker Ownership:

  • End the war on unions
  • ​Repeal all union busting legislation including all Right to Work Laws and the Taft-Hartley Act
  • ​Stop nationwide Right to Work laws in their tracks
  • ​Make the ‘Employee Free Choice Act’ law and allow employees to form unions at will/end the waiting period
  • ​Guaranteed first right of refusal for workers to buy out companies that are selling or moving
  • ​Allow unemployed workers to pool their benefits and start worker cooperatives
  • ​Provide federal or local government financial assistance for the formation of worker cooperatives
  • ​Secure the right to organize a union at work without fear of firing or reprisal
  • ​True democratic representation for rank and file members of unions
  • ​Prohibit selling off natural resources for private gain

​Atone for Sins of the Past:

  • ​Acknowledge that this country was stolen from and built after the genocide of First Persons
  • End the ongoing oppression of First Persons and their culture and land for corporate profit and personal gain
  • ​End all colonization on American soil for profit and personal gain
  • ​End all colonization worldwide
  • ​Acknowledge that this country was built from the forced slave labor of Africans
  • ​End the systematic persecution of African Americans, whose ancestors were brought to this land against their will
  • ​End the prison for profit pipeline that incarcerates exponentially more African Americans than any other race

​Level the Field:

  • ​Make locally, grow locally, buy locally, bank locally
  • ​Close tax loopholes for medium and large corporations
  • End corporate welfare
  • ​Overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling which gave personal rights to corporations
  • Enact term limits on members of Congress and close the K street revolving door
  • ​Reduce the Pentagon budget and reinvest in the National Guard
  • Enact a CEO to lowest paid worker salary ratio
  • ​Create a federally mandated maximum wage for CEOs and board members
  • ​End predatory lending practices and “Payday loans”

Provide Equal Rights for All:

  • ​Equal pay for equal work for POC and oppressed communities; close the white male to “others” pay gap
  • ​Equal pay for equal work for all women, WOC and Latina Women; close the women to white male pay gap for ALL women
  • ​Acknowledge and end hiring discrimination based on race, religion, sexual preference or identity; strengthen and uphold the guidelines of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Acknowledge and end hiring discrimination towards disabled individuals; end ableism in the workplace
  • ​Acknowledge and end pay discrimination of disabled individuals who are currently paid at sub-minimum wage
  • ​Increase accessibility measure for physically disabled, blind, and neuro-divergent applicants and employees
  • Acknowledge and end discrimination of women of childbearing age, pregnant women and mature women
  • ​Ease the burden of proof of housing for homeless workers to be offered employment
  • ​Acknowledge and end poor treatment of women, POC and oppressed workers in the workplace, including harassment and bullying
  • ​Acknowledge and end hiring based off of physical appearance instead of qualifications

 

​Sector Concerns:

**Artisan and Skilled Trades**

  • Increased recognition and value for skilled trades such as electrician, plumber, mechanic, etc.
  • ​Promotion of skilled trade jobs as a vital part of our society
  • ​Living wages for all artists, musicians, photographers and other artisan creators

​**Healthcare**

  • ​Increased pay for all healthcare workers, from CNA’s to EMT’s to MD’s
  • ​End insurance company regulation/dictation on health care choices
  • Provider/Patient decision making, not insurance companies
  • ​Realistic patient to care provider ratios in hospital and long term care settings
  • ​Mental health care provided for all health care workers, free of charge (part of universal healthcare for all)
  • More direct care providers, less administrators

**​Government**

  • ​Secure government jobs while reducing redundancy and waste; use excess funds to build infrastructure
  • ​Increase whistleblower protection for government employees and contractors
  • ​Protect our national parks and National Park Service jobs
  • ​Secure the US Postal Service as a creator of stable needed jobs

​**Small Business/Freelance**

  • ​End double taxation for small business owners
  • ​Increase accessible funding for small business startups
  • ​Create a streamlined process to start a small business and become a local job creator anywhere in the country
  • ​Offer free courses on how to start small businesses
  • ​Support small businesses before big businesses
  • ​Increased rights for freelancers including the right to form a union nationwide

​**Teachers/Educators**

  • Higher salary for all pre-k through 12 teachers
  • More teachers, less administrators
  • Guaranteed funding for all classroom supplies
  • ​Reasonable teacher to student ratio in every classroom across the country
  • More focus on learning, less on passing tests
  • ​Later start to the school day, for the benefit of young children and parents
  • ​Later start age for student in graded courses, for the benefit of young children
  • ​Teach manners, understanding and cooperation first, before curriculum, similar to Japan
  • More options for home-schooling
  • ​End all voucher programs

​**Restaurant/Hospitality**

  • ​End wage/tip theft
  • ​Increased minimum wage for all tipped employees
  • ​Healthcare and sick days for all hospitality employees (Universal Healthcare)

**Incarcerated Workers**

  • ​End legal slavery of incarcerated workers
  • ​Prohibit for profit corporations from utilizing prison slave labor to increase their profit margins
  • ​Focus on rehabilitation of non violent prisoners, including job training
  • ​”Ban the Box” for non violent ex-cons
  • ​Expunge all marijuana related charges and convictions

**Working Mothers**

  • ​Mandate breast pumping stations
  • ​Increase resources to bring infants to work when applicable
  • ​Increase maternity/paternity leave
  • ​Increase affordable, convenient and safe child care options

**Undocumented/Migrant Workers**

  • ​End all ICE raids immediately
  • ​Prohibit employers from threatening to report undocumented workers to ICE in order to steal wages
  • ​Stop all wage theft of undocumented workers
  • ​End the use of poisonous pesticides in all high yield farms, where a high number of undocumented and migrant workers are employed
  • ​Provide safety/respiratory equipment for all farm/agricultural workers
  • ​End the use of private prisons fo profit to house undocumented workers before deportation
  • ​Ensure undocumented workers in custody are given due process including: the right to an attorney, the right to see their family and the right to not be detained indefinitely
  • ​Stop destroying families by deporting working parents
  • ​Make all public schools sanctuary zones

​**Sex Workers**

  • Respect the agency of sex workers
  • Fully decriminalize sex work
  • End profiling and improve police departmental policies
  • Deprioritize arrests for solicitation and other related offenses
  • Expand access to record sealing
  • Grant immunity when reporting crime
  • Expand access to crime victims compensation programs
  • Fund research, community-based programs, and advocacy

​**Domestic Workers/Stay at Home Moms**

  • Provide UBI at a living wage for all citizens 18 or older, regardless of employment status, allowing for financial security for stay at home and domestic workers
  • ​Universal Healthcare for all regardless of employment status
  • ​Increased research funding and preventative measures for domestic abuse
  • ​End victim blaming

**Military/Veterans**

  • Fully fund the VA
  • ​End to deceptive and manipulative tactics to increase enlistments
  • ​End to recruitment from high schools
  • ​Increase wages to a living wage for all soldiers, regardless of branch or rank
  • ​Increased protection for female soldiers including full investigation and prosecution of reported assaults
  • Fully fund the GI Bill program for anyone currently serving, and veterans
  • ​Increased mental health care (Universal Healthcare)
  • ​Higher respect for the lives of those who choose to enlist in the military through properly vetted deployments and missions that are never for the profit of US companies or to overthrow sovereign nations

​**Researchers/Scientists/Grad Students**

  • Allow grad students to form unions
  • ​Full employee benefits and a living wage for grad students
  • ​End abusive treatment and unrealistic expectations of grad students and create real pathways to tenure
  • ​Compensation for mandatory travel to conferences and the like
  • ​Equality and equity between areas of academia, bringing humanities and other areas on par with STEM
  • ​Publicly funded research, not profit driven research
  • Better compensation over all

The platform printed above was last updated on April 24. To see it now go to this link.

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