This May Day we have much to celebrate, as a new wave of workplace organizing continues to grow and gain momentum. Earlier this month Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island won their unionization vote to become the world’s first unionized Amazon workplace. Starbucks workers all across the country have been unionizing their workplaces. And right here in Lancaster HACC faculty just won their unionization vote. A few months prior, unionized Kellogg’s workers won their contract fight.
All across America, working people are beginning to say “enough!” and to get organized. Because all across America so many people are struggling. Big essential costs like housing, childcare, healthcare, and education have continued to rise dramatically, while wages have remained stagnant for four decades. The COVID pandemic has exacerbated the crisis of inequality: billionaires have grown richer, while a majority of Americans are struggling to make ends meet.
It's the same story here in Lancaster County. Notably the housing crisis is making it harder and harder for so many of us and our neighbors to continue to call Lancaster home. Right now families are being pushed out of Lancaster because of runaway housing costs. More and more of our neighbors are falling through the cracks.
Last year, Congress passed the historic American Rescue Plan Act, which gave states and counties relief funds to help everyday working people recover from hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Lancaster, our County Commissioners received $106 million dollars earmarked for this purpose. To date, they have yet to create any kind of public input or oversight process for spending the funds. Our commissioners seem to be completely tonedeaf to the struggles of working people in Lancaster County. Commissioner Josh Parson even said that he does “not think the so-called American Rescue Plan was necessary,” claiming that the money was “arriving after the COVID crisis is over.” We know very well that the economic hardship caused and exacerbated by COVID is not over for tens of thousands of Lancaster County residents.
That's why this May Day, in addition to celebrating workplace victories, we’ll be calling on our elected representatives to deliver for working people. Working-class people drive our economy and got us through the pandemic. We are right to demand that our tax dollars be put to work for us. We have a historic opportunity right here in Lancaster County to invest over $100 million into meeting the needs of working people: needs like housing, childcare, broadband internet, wages, and more. We’re demanding tangible investments in the working people of Lancaster County.
Throughout history and around the world, we have seen that when everyday working people get ourselves organized, we can win real victories that improve our lives. We know that runaway inequality is not going to fix itself. It’s up to people like us to take action, to make demands, and to win change.
Join us on May Day as we launch a long-term campaign to win a fair deal for working people in Lancaster County. Let’s build a Lancaster that works for all of us. Come to the May Day rally. And help spread the word by sharing the Facebook event, helping to flyer, and helping to make recruitment calls.