Workers Share At COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall

Last Thrusday, April 23, workers from across the state joined together to testify about their experiences working and organizing under COVID-19. Labor council and TOSHA representatives also shared information about resources available to workers during the current crisis.

"We cannot stop the fight," said Kecha Strickland of ATU 1212 in Chattanooga, TN, shortly before leading a moment of silence for workers who have fallen fatally ill after contracting the COVID-19 virus in the workplace. "We must continue the fight and hold our leaders and our companies accountable."

Despite efforts for the economy to get "back to normal," speakers' accounts highlighted longstanding issues like insufficient workplace safety standards, inadequate health insurance coverage, and lack of paid sick leave. For many workers, "back to normal" is simply not enough.

"It's a lack of workplace safety that is leading to workers dying every year," said event co-coordinator Jeffrey Lichtenstein from the Memphis Labor Council. "It's our task to move the needle on keeping workers safe, and the only way to do that is by coming together and organizing for what we need."

The virtual town hall was part of a series of events and actions observing Workers Memorial Day in Tennessee. The event's panel of union workers spoke about how they are organizing to win advancements in health & safety regulations and workplace conditions so that attendees could learn from their victories. By applying these lessons, we hope that workers will be better equipped to organize for safety and dignity in the workplace.

View a full recording of the event here.