Workers protest stagnating wages despite inflation, tragedy struck yesterday in Texas as 46 people were found dead in a truck after seeking better lives for themselves and their families, and FairHotel launched a tool to find unionized hotels at which to stay.
ABCnews reports on a wave of protests by workers around the world responding to stagnant wages while inflation drives the cost of living up everywhere. They point to protests just this week in Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Belgium, Britain, Ecuador, the U.S., and Sri Lanka, many of which were led by unions. Many have called for governments to respond to rising consumer prices with subsidies and taxes on corporate profits, particularly with the combined crises of the pandemic and the war in the Ukraine. However, many workers are protesting for their employees to raise their own wages directly, rather than through the intermediary of taxes and subsidies. In the months and weeks past, truckers in South Korea went on strike as well as truckers in Spain, transport workers in Peru protested until the government imposed a curfew, and a Kenyan hospital was overwhelmed by requests from people to buy their own organs from them (the Hospital had to remind them such sale would be illegal). The working class, globally, is struggling.
Perhaps that contributed to the horrific tragedy discovered in Texas yesterday, where the bodies of 46 people were found tightly-packed into an overheating truck that had just crossed the border. Some survivors had called for help, and a bystander discovered the tragedy after coming to respond. Four children and twelve other survivors were rushed to hospitals as officials described a “refrigerated” truck without any signs of working AC or water.
UNITE HERE continues its fight for workers by launching a Fair Hotel tool that allows guests and event organizers to model contracts that respect workers rights and only support hotels with strong workers’ unions. The tool offers consultation services to Partners at no cost to help them “select appropriate venues, avoid labor disputes, negotiate for the best contract language, and make personal connections with the UNITE HERE members who” work at those locations. The website also includes more basic informational services, such as a boycott list to avoid ever crossing picket lines and information for international travelers as well.