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Giving Compass' Take:
• Marc Bayard writes on the importance (especially now) for Black labor workers to be represented and to close the racial inequality gap in our workforces.
• How can policymakers ensure that structural changes in the U.S. economy don’t continue to contribute to racial economic inequality?
Labor Day 2020 comes at a time of unprecedented racial, political, and economic upheaval in the United States. Earlier this summer, tens of thousands of workers nationwide walked off their jobs and took to the streets to strike in support of the growing Black Lives Matter movement. In August, hundreds of NBA and WNBA players went on strike in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake; about 70 percent of each league’s players are Black.
These actions and acts of radical defiance by workers have made it clear that systemic racism cannot be separated from the growing and perverse economic inequalities that have devastated Black workers and Black America for generations, and made them much more vulnerable to the current global pandemic. To win the corporate accountability required to rectify this inequality, our labor and worker movement must embrace this racial awakening and elevate and adequately resource Black people in roles of leadership and strategy.
Black workers have long strived to be heard, respected, and paid their worth in the United States. While they are 12 percent of the overall workforce, Black workers represent 17 percent of all frontline-industry workers. With poor access to health care, this places Black workers and their families at higher risk in this pandemic. And with Black and brown workers on track to become the majority of the working class in less than 15 years, the time is now to make sure that this moment solidifies into a movement powerful enough to win transformative victories for Black workers and other workers of color.
Read the full article about Black labor leaders by Marc Bayard at Inequality.org