Welcome to a special blog series by Executive Director Patti Lynn, exploring the meaning and importance of taking on corporate power in this moment. Post in this series include Corporate campaigning during the COVID-19 pandemic part 1, part 2, and part 4.
As we’ve seen since the unfolding of the COVID-19 epidemic, workers are on the frontlines of this crisis. They are working in dangerous conditions, putting their health and their family’s health at risk. Many cannot afford to stay home without paid time off. Still more have been laid off during the shut-downs. And a disproportionate number of these workers are Black and Indigenous people, people of color, and immigrants.
As I wrote last month, now is a moment when we must reject individualism and competition, and embrace abundance and collectivity. Time and again I have been struck by the generosity of Corporate Accountability members and activists who live out their values. It’s what gives me the hope that we will be part of creating that world together in partnership and community with people all across the world.
And that’s why, for this edition of this series, we’re featuring two important relief funds for workers on the frontlines of the pandemic crisis, organized by our allies: the Coronavirus Care Fund, established by the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and the One Fair Wage Emergency Fund.
Providing economic relief to thousands of people
The Coronavirus Care Fund provides emergency assistance for home care workers, nannies, and house cleaners to support them in staying safe and staying home to slow the spread of the coronavirus and to care for themselves and their families. Domestic workers are caring for those most vulnerable to the coronavirus like seniors and people with chronic illnesses. They are also caring for the children of essential workers like health care professionals. As a result, many domestic workers are unable to self-isolate or practice social distancing. Those who do stay home risk severe economic hardship as low-wage workers without a safety net or paid time off.
The One Fair Wage Emergency Fund provides cash assistance to restaurant workers, car service drivers, delivery workers, personal service workers, and more. The COVID-19 economic shutdown has resulted in a horrific experience for millions of tipped workers who have lost their jobs, and who, before the pandemic were struggling to survive on subminimum wages. With their jobs and tips disappearing, millions of workers find themselves now unable to pay for rent, food for their children, or other bills.
Organizing for long-term transformation
The National Domestic Workers Alliance and One Fair Wage organize workers, mostly women of color, to advocate for policies and practices that provide basic workers’ rights and a living wage. Their work is essential in winning concrete victories that affects the lives of millions of people. And they are also transforming a corporate-driven economic system that exploits workers, invisibilizes their labor, and relies on and deepens racism and white supremacy.
Their organizing provides pathways towards a different kind of economy. An economy based in care, race equity, and justice. An economy that puts power in the hands of workers rather than corporations. And an economy that recognizes and uplifts the dignity and humanity of everyone.
Such a world asks us to work together towards a shared vision, to pool our resources, to offer and accept support as we can and need. So if you can, please give to the Coronavirus Care Fund and the One Fair Wage Emergency Fund. The whole of your donation will go to these two funds. And you’ll be supporting people most directly impacted by the brutal and extractive economic system we are organizing to change together.
Read part 4 of this special series.