Labor unions strike for racial justice in LA and nationwide

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Brenda Baraquil took time off work to support the Strike for Black Lives. Photo by Benjamin Gottlieb/KCRW.

Thousands of workers across the nation walked off the job today to protest systemic racism in the labor market. 

In LA, the Strike for Black Lives was organized by big labor unions like SEIU, Black Lives Matter LA, the Tenants Union, an alliance of Uber drivers, and others.


A Teamster truck showing solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement. Photo by Benjamin Gottlieb/KCRW.

“How can we all live in peace with the violence keep on going [sic]?” says Marquece Black, who works in the kitchen at the Centinela Skilled Nursing and Wellness Facility in Inglewood. He and other workers walked off the job for eight minutes and 46 seconds in memory of George Floyd. “We've been going through the violence for generations. ... When is it going to stop for the next generation?”


Marquece Black works in the kitchen at the Centinela Skilled Nursing and Wellness Facility and participated in the Strike for Black Lives. Photo by Benjamin Gottlieb/KCRW.

This confluence of activism between labor groups, racial justice groups, and environmental groups is the latest development in the ongoing protest movement that’s roiled this country for months.

“Black Lives Matter. They understand the impact of systemic racism everywhere they go. School, work, housing. I feel it too. That's why I support Black Lives Matter,” says Brenda Baraquil, a caregiver from the Philippines who lives in Inglewood.