Stewart Acuff

Aug 2

Workers Are Mobilizing. Mass Movement is Possible

It has been a week of industrial action by fast food workers in America’s biggest cities backed by America’s largest union, showing us all a glimpse of Mass Movement.

Monday night I was on the set of CCTV, a tv network that broadcasts in 120 countries. While getting miked up for an interview, I watched the story playing just before my segment about the destructive creation of many more part-time jobs than full-time jobs. The story showed fast food workers in action demanding an increase in the minimum wage and a living wage and the right to organize a union and bargain collectively either with their employers or with the industry.

SEIU’s support of fast food workers in action deserves the gratitude of the entire the labor movement.

And on Monday night people in 120 countries around the world watched as America’s poorest workers stood up together to demand their humanity and dignity.

Yes, there is a rising in our land and it is being led by America’s forgotten and trampled on.

It reminds me of Jeremiah 22:3 in the Old Testament, “Thus says the Lord: Act with justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor…” It also reminds me of what the Worker from Nazareth said in the New Testament in Matthew 25: “just as you did it to one of the least of these you did it to me.”

The ranks of the least of these are growing in America. The slow evisceration of America’s middle class and the forced entry into the ranks of the poor is the shame of America.

New data shows that fully 80% of Americans will struggle with poverty at some point in their lives. Fully 25% of America’s children live in poverty. It is an abomination, an unconscionable abomination. It Is a stain on the history of America.

It is time for all of us to follow the least of these in action and movement to Save the Very Soul of America.

Photo source: Light Brigading via Flickr

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