Real Food Scoop | No. 9

This May Day (and beyond), we’re showing up for workers.

There is no food without workers. And the formidable power of workers to transform our food system, as well as our political and economic systems, is on display all around us:

  • Florida farmworkers and their allies demanding an end to sexual violence in the fields and a commitment from the fast food chain Wendy’s to Fair Food with a five-day “Freedom Fast.”
  • Undocumented workers at Tom Cat Bakery leading the #daywithoutbread protest to campaign for workplace protections by pressuring restaurant customers and mobilizing their allies.
  • Teachers’ strikes spreading from West Virginia to Oklahoma and beyond as educators demand schools that are properly funded and teachers who don’t need to work second and third jobs.
  • The union of Mexican indigenous farmworkers Familias Unidas por la Justicia winning a historic collective bargaining agreement dramatically improving the lives of thousands of farmworkers and their families in Washington State.
  • The CEO of Ben & Jerry’s signing on to the Milk With Dignity program, outlining zero tolerance for forced labor, child labor, the threat or use of sexual or physical assault or retaliation against workers for advocating for their rights.

May Day is a reminder of the power of workers to create social change and the historic victories of labor movements (let’s hear it for the 8-hour work day and weekends). But workers—especially people of color, immigrants, and women—face new and ongoing threats in the workplace.

We want to know: This May Day, how are you showing up for the workers who grow and prepare our food, teach our children, care for the sick and elderly, and sustain our local economies in countless other ways? How are workers organizing where you live? What worker-led campaigns are you participating in or supporting? Share with us on social media with the hashtags: #FoodWorkersResist #MayDayUnited.

If you are looking for some ideas beyond this week’s actions, stay tuned: we’ll soon be rolling out our new Organizing Toolkit: Building Power With Food Workers. Sign up for early access and updates.

In solidarity with workers everywhere,

Anna, Christina, Tiffani, and Tanya

Read the full issue of the Real Food Scoop

Header image by Johan Fantenberg/Flickr