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Tampa workers and students celebrate May Day

By staff |
May 2, 2018
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International Workers Day marked in Tampa, FL. (FightBack!News/Staff)

Tampa, FL - Organized workers and student activists gathered at Centennial Park in Tampa, April 28, to celebrate the victories, past and present, of the working class.

A prominent theme at the event was the call to revive the strike. Both speakers and attendees brought up the wildcat strikes happening throughout the country. Jerrica Hoey opened up the celebration by making clear the pro-worker demands of this May Day action. Hoey stated, “Today in Tampa we demand a better contract for UPS employees, dismissal of the Janus vs AFSCME court case, repeal of the Florida Teacher Union Decertification law, and an end to ‘right to work’ laws.”

Elizabeth Kramer, a UPS worker and member of Teamsters Local 79, shared their experiences in the workplace. Kramer told the crowd, “I work in the unload and it's all too common to be working with outdated equipment. In fact, the piece of equipment that is most responsible for injuries in the unload, the rollers, were only supplied within the last decade in the Tampa center and undergo constant repairs because they’re always falling apart - often onto our legs and feet. The standards for package handling have similarly not changed, except that standard goes back decades when the packages were on average lighter, smaller, and less in quantity.” Kramer is organizing with fellow workers for better working conditions and to build worker’s power in the workplace.

Among the various speeches, a union organizer explained, “The workers who fought the most, and hence, won the most, were the workers with a high level of class consciousness. The unions who fought the most, and hence, who won the most, were unions led by workers with a high level of class consciousness.”

Gage Lacharite, from the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, underscored the mood of the country today. Lacharite said, “More people are being mobilized to resist the policies of the rich and powerful. People across the country, especially youth, are rallying to the cause of socialism and the working class. The time is now for making real change.”