Workers First Caravan – Postponed

***Please note that the organizing groups have decided to postpone this protest. We will post here and on social media when a new date has been set. Thank you to all who continue to advocate for worker rights. ***

On Wednesday, June 3, working people from Raleigh will join thousands of people from across the country in a Workers First Caravan, an all-out action of national solidarity calling for implementation of America’s Five Economic Essentials and passage of the HEROES Act.

Help us tell Thom Tillis that inaction is unacceptable. We’re ready to fight for our health, our economy and our country.

RSVP: https://actionnetwork.org/events/sen-thom-tillis-put-workers-first

Tuesdays with Tillis is proud to join the North Carolina and the national AFL-CIO in this action.

Workers First Caravan – Press Release

***Please note that the organizing groups have decided to postpone this protest. We will post here and on social media when a new date has been set. Thank you to all who continue to advocate for worker rights. ***

March 29, 2020 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact: Tuesdays With Tillis tuesdayswithtillisnc@gmail.com 

Workers First Caravan 

When: Wednesday, June 3, 2020 Time: 11 – 11:30 am Where: Thom Tillis’s Raleigh Office, 310 New Bern Ave, Raleigh, NC 27601 

Raleigh, North Carolina Along with both the State and National AFL/CIO organizations, Tuesdays With Tillis will be participating in an action of national solidarity for the implementation of America’s Five Economic Essentials and passage of the HEROES Act

They will join with the AFL/CIO and other labor organizations in bringing to public attention the following five demands:

~ Keep front-line workers safe and secure.

~ Keep workers employed and protect earned pension checks.

~ Keep state and local governments, our public schools and the U.S. Postal Service solvent and working.

~ Keep America healthy – protect and expand health insurance for all workers.

~ Keep America competitive – hire people to build infrastructure.

At 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 3, participants will form a Caravan of vehicles that will circle the Terry Sanford Federal Office Building & Court House at 310 New Bern Ave, Raleigh. A smaller group will participate from the sidewalk, maintaining appropriate physical-distancing and wearing protective face masks. 

Since January 2017, Tuesdays With Tillis has been holding weekly rallies outside the Raleigh office of Sen. Thom Tillis, demanding that he support the needs of the people over the needs of his corporate donors. Honoring Gov. Roy Cooper’s requests to maintain physical distancing to minimize the spread of COVID-19, Tuesdays With Tillis members now continue to meet weekly via video conferencing, and are organizing action teams to meet the growing need for assistance among those most directly impacted and most vulnerable. Volunteers wishing to know more can contact the group at tuesdayswithtillisnc@gmail.org

Worker Safety in Food Processing Plants

 

May 5, 2020

Dear Governor Cooper,

As North Carolinians, Tuesdays with Tillis have been gathering weekly for three years outside Senator Thom Tillis’ Raleigh office to bring attention to the unmet needs of the people of North Carolina. We currently meet online each week to continue our work on behalf of people who are disproportionately affected by the global pandemic. Right now, we are concerned about the safety of those who work in our meat and poultry processing plants. 

When workers who toil in environments that involve close person-to-person contact are classified as essential (often a euphemism for expendable), the company that employs them must ensure their safety. Meat and poultry processing plants provide a number of conditions that promote the spread of communicable diseases, especially the coronavirus: people stand shoulder to shoulder with no barrier between them; while they wear gloves, they do not wear masks or face shields; the pace of work is unrelenting with pressure to work faster making safety lapses more likely. 

To secure our meat supply, we must make worker safety paramount. Fewer workers should be on the line at one time, allowing 6 feet of space between them; plexiglass barriers should be erected between workstations; workers should be provided with gloves, gowns, and high quality face masks that filter all inhaled air, like the KN-95 masks issued to waste disposal and sewer workers; workers should be provided with full face shields, since the lining of the eye also is a portal for entry of the virus. Hand washing stations and sanitizer must be readily available. In addition, the plants need to conduct diagnostic testing to know who is infectious and who is not, since many people carrying the coronavirus are asymptomatic. Those who test positive must be isolated from other workers and from their families until they no longer test positive. Attention needs to be paid as well to break rooms and safe transportation, as these environments are also sites of virus transmission and distance from each other should be maintained. All the costs of these measures must be borne by the companies. Workers should not endure financial hardship in addition to the risks that their jobs entail. 

President Trump has now issued an executive order for the meat and poultry plants to re-open. At the same time the states are enjoined from stopping the plants from opening and thus cannot require the plants to insure worker safety first.  This is outrageous. CDC guidelines for worker safety are provided, but are not required. 

Tuesdays with Tillis demands that the state of North Carolina lead the nation by challenging this executive order. We ask you to insist that worker health and safety come before profit and that the lives of our workers be our state’s top priority. 

Thank you for the work that you do on behalf of all North Carolinians.

Sincerely,

Doyle G. Graham, MD, PhD

Dean Emeritus of Medical Education
Duke University School of Medicine

Professor Emeritus
National University of Singapore

and

Tuesdays with Tillis