News Release

#GeneralStrike?

The Washington Post reports: “Trump says he wants ‘country opened’ by Easter.” His stance prompted #GeneralStrike to trend on social media.

MIKE ELK, mike.elk at gmail.com, @MikeElk
Elk is the senior labor reporter at Payday Report and correspondent for Business Insider.

He said today: “People should not discount the possibility of a general strike by workers now. I was covering the lead up to the West Virginia teachers strikes in 2018 and that took people by surprise. It inspired strikes across the nation.

“Now, you are seeing strikes of bus drivers in Birmingham and poultry workers in Georgia. Workers are mobilizing and this could inspire a massive strike wave.

“And you have a clear precedent for this. After the 1918 influenza pandemic, you had the 1919 general strike. (See recent piece in The Nation.)

“It’s dawning on more people how critical their labor is and how little these corporations care about them. The veneer of we’re-going-to-take-care-of-you has dropped away.

“Health care workers are having their lives endangered by corporate moves. (See piece in The Intercept: “Kaiser Permanente Threatened to Fire Nurses Treating Covid-19 Patients for Wearing Their Own Masks, Unions Say.)

“The lack of sick days is endangering workers and everyone. Nashville is set to have an enormous outbreak of COVID-19. It’s huge tourist center with many services workers without paid sick days.

“We’re talking about possibly 20 to 30 percent unemployment. That will lead employers to be even more callous.

“Meanwhile, Boeing has $15 billion in the bank and is set to get a bailout.

“Nissan has worked to hinder its workers in Alabama from unionizing and now the company is forcing them to work and risk their lives.” (See Elk’s latest on Nissan here.)