Speech at a Day Without Immigrants Rally

N. Mayo Statement for
A Day Without Immigrants Rally
2-16-17
Buenos dias, Bom dia, Bon Jour, shubh prabhaat, sabah alkyr, mholo, zaoshang hao, guten morgen, buongiorno, Good morning! My name is Nathanette Mayo and I bring you greetings from the activist, social justice, rank & file lead, great UE150 NC Public Service Workers Union!

Activist, social justice union – what is that? Well, it means that our union is not only active, concerned and fights for justice in our workplaces, but also active, concerned and fights for justice in our communities. It means also, that we see the connections between the two: if we don’t have good, living wage paying, health & safety conscious jobs; we don’t have good and vibrant communities. And if our communities are not safe, vibrant and good then you can bet that there are no or certainly not enough good, living wage paying, health & safety conscious jobs in or near those communities for its residents to work in. So, UE150 fights for both.

We fight on our jobs when the boss pits worker against worker. He pits documented against undocumented, full time against temporary and part-time, white against black against brown against red against yellow, male against female, able bodied against challenged, young worker against older worker. He does all he can to keep us at each other and not focused on the fact that he is exploiting us workers to keep this capitalist system going. Exploiting us workers to get the maximum production and profit as only capitalism is designed to do. So, our union fights. When the boss tells Spanish speaking workers in a workgroup they cannot speak any language to each other but English while they are working with each other – we fight! When bosses intimidate and force immigrant workers to sign documents and write statements for the boss to use to discipline & try to get rid of other workers of color – our union fights for the rights of both the immigrant and disciplined worker!

That’s why we are here in solidarity today. We encourage you, if you are not, to be a part of and active in unions and other worker organizations. If you are doing so all ready, we encourage you to continue. We invite you to be active in organizations like the Triangle Peoples & Southern Workers Assemblies to strategize and address the issues and concerns we as working people have on our jobs and in our communities. Issues like: jobs with living wages, healthcare, access to affordable housing and good education, food justice, voting rights, a healthy environment, police accountability – ending racial profiling, abuse and police murders, participating in budget processes that determine where our tax dollars are spent.

We must never let those, who so desperately want to re-write history, forget that whether we were forcibly enslaved and brought here on boats, walked back across onto land that was stolen from us, whether drove across a border, flew into an airport, came in on a boat through an eastern or western port – we are a nation of immigrants and it is on our backs and by the sweat of our brow that this stolen nation was made great and the 1% amassed and continues to amass it’s wealth. But we as those producers of that great wealth must truly understand and grasp the reality that they, the 1%, don’t make a dime, unless we move. When we workers join together and truly understand that – then, we can make some real change in this United States of America! Thank you! Power to the Workers! Power to the People!

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