September 11, 2020 — The United States, the country where International Workers Day began celebrated Labor Day on Monday September 7. This holiday finds US workers in more precarious conditions than in previous years. Tens of millions of persons lost their jobs as a result of Covid-19. However, even before the pandemic, the US working class was confronting the impact of more than four decades of worsening living conditions that resulted in longer working days, increased debt and persons being pushed in higher numbers to self-employment, thereby facing the consequences and risks that this condition entails for their economic and social security.
This Labor Day takes place at a moment in which economic inequality is increasing, when the wealth of most households is transferring into the hands of a small oligarchy, which is becoming wealthier every day. For Black, Latin American, and other racial and ethnic minorities, the adverse impacts are always worse and the Covid-19 crisis has not been an exception. In light of these circumstances saying “Happy Labor Day” seems inappropriate.
This Labor Day is taking place on the eve of a presidential election in which fear and uncertainty about the future is being manipulated by blaming the current precarious conditions on those who have gone to the streets to protest against white supremacy and police violence. In addition, in recent years, there has been an increased effort to falsely claim that immigrants of color, primarily those from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, are taking jobs from (white) U.S. citizens and committing violent crimes.
The goal for a better future for the vast majority of workers in the U.S. and the rest of the world can be achieved through organizing our communities. We must continue to pressure state and federal legislators, of all political parties, so that they approve legislative reforms that make possible the fair and equitable distribution of the wealth that we all generate.
The social change that we need to attain also requires the maximum participation of all of our communities in the electoral process on November 3rd. In the time remaining before the election, we have the opportunity to organize and mobilize our communities to challenge the social inequities that impact us all. Currently, there are almost 60 million Latinx and Latin Americans living in the U.S., and this year they will make history as the largest racial and ethnic minority group eligible to vote, with an estimated 32 million projected voters. We must double down on our efforts to educate our communities on the electoral process and the different ways of voting. Those eligible to vote must do so, not only as a way to make their voices heard, but also to represent those who are unable to vote, but that make significant contributions and have made this country their home. It is through our voices and votes that we can continue defending and fighting for social, racial, and economic justice for the working class.