Maria Somma discusses organizing during COVID-19 on the Leslie Marshall Show

USW Organizing Director Maria Somma appeared on the Leslie Marshall Show this week to discuss the importance of organizing for worker power during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Somma discussed a number of examples of major employers who have routinely put essential workers – many in the food and delivery industries – at risk without providing proper protections. Meanwhile, bosses have reaped the benefits of increased consumer demand.

“What this has done is exposed the working class versus the non-working class,” said Somma. “When they force employees to work in unsafe conditions, that then affects the entire community in which we all live.”

Unions, including the USW, have seen a resurgence in interest for unionization from workers in industries across the board, and especially among white collar workers.

“COVID-19 has opened up the eyes of a lot of folks to learn about the existence of unions and their rights to organize,” said Somma. “We’re seeing a resurgence in understanding that collective bargaining is essential for workers’ protection and is the only legal tool that workers have.”

 Somma also discussed the pivot toward virtual organizing strategies in the wake of the pandemic, utilizing platforms like Zoom and Facebook Live.

“The best tool as an organizer is being able to have one-on-one conversations with workers. Every tool that was out there, we figured out how to use it to reach as many workers as we could.”

To listen to the entire interview about organizing during the coronavirus pandemic, click below:

USW New Media · 7 21 20 Pandemic Shines Light On Need For Unions Organizing In The Time Of Covid 19

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