From pro-choice Texans, to the Moral Mondays in North Carolina, to striking fast-food workers in numerous states, people around are nation are starting to take to the streets to demand that their voices be heard. Yesterday, in San Francisco, 2,400 unionized transit workers went on strike when management refused to come to an agreement. Employees of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system, locally known as BART, are protesting a five-year pay freeze after giving up over $100 million dollars in concessions.
BART officials proposed a 2 percent annual raise to prevent the strike, but workers say it would barely keep up with the cost of living. Union members argue that they gave up raises and benefits years ago, to help the transit system weather the recession. After years of sacrifice by the workers, BART is now turning a profit - and workers believe that they have earned their fair share. The last BART employee strike was in 1997 when employees, through their collective action, were able to negotiate a four-year contract that included pay raises.
The BART workers are now joining people around our country who are standing up and demanding a living wage for low-income workers, equal rights for women, and an end to corporate abuse. Right now, we're seeing our fellow citizens stand together as they realize that they can't fight these problems alone.
These passionate, non-violent, and powerful protests, from California all the way to the East Coast, are bringing people together in a way that hasn't happened in decades. This is movement politics. And, it's anyone's guess as to where the next protests will spring up.
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