Bosses show contempt for workers through unsafe working conditions and sexist and racist behavior. By organizing, workers can defend their lives and humanity, declared Jaribu Hill, director of the Southern regional office of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
The crusading civil rights attorney, who began and concluded her presentation in soul-stirring song, led delegates on a workplace-to-workplace tour of horrific attacks on workers’ rights — the North Carolina poultry-processing plant where 25 workers lost their lives in a fire because the plant doors were locked; the Mississippi poultry farm where women workers were fired for refusing supervisors’ sexual advances; the Mississippi shipyard where management tolerates racist graffiti and threats and KKK activity, among others.
Delegates were visibly affected by Hill’s depiction of offensive behavior to women workers and the violence of the graffiti and threats, which included near-lynchings.
While most workplaces were in the Deep South, Hill emphasized, that the racism and sexism that hold African-Americans and the working class down are not limited to any one region.
But there are pockets of victory, she said — including the survival of UE and its continuing presence as an example to the entire labor movement.
Home • About UE • Organize! • Independent Unions
• Search • Site Guide • What's New • Contact UE