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Episode 005: Stop Calling Yourself Essential

  • Broadcast in Politics Progressive



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Since the pandemic began in the United States, many public and private transportation workers have been labeled as "essential" employees. That is, they cannot quarantine and must expose themselves to hazards that can make them extremely ill or die. Many workers have adopted the term as well. In the realm of law, this is avery dangerous adjective for workers to use so freely. Specifically, Illinois Labor Law defines essential workers as security employees. Moreover, such employees are not protected by the law should they strike. These are known as "Wildcat" strikes and should only be organized when workers have a strong base of support. It is better for transportation employees to call ourselves front-line workers.

The Justice Coalition Facebook Page

The ATU Local 241/308 Wages and Working Condition Agreement (Contract)

The Illinois Public Labor Relations Act that allows transit workers in Illinois to strike

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