MEDIA ADVISORY FOR: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 — 7:00pm ET / 4:00pm PT
Contact: Anna Zuccaro | anna(at)unbendablemedia.com
TUESDAY: Rep. Pramila Jayapal and V (formerly Eve Ensler) Hold WOMEN WORKERS RISING Town Hall With Poultry Plant Worker on Health and Safety Issues of Meatpacking Industry During COVID-19
Digital Town Hall Event Features Essential Frontline Workers Commenting on Public Health and Safety Needs for Food Industry
On Tuesday, May 12th, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-7) and V (formerly Eve Ensler) will hold a town hall event to discuss the health and safety issues facing essential food workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. The town hall event is part of a Women Workers Rising digital series dedicated to telling the stories of essential women workers.
WHEN: Tuesday, May 12th at 7pm (ET), 4pm (PT)
WHERE: Zoom and Facebook Live
- Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal
- V (formerly Eve Ensler), Playwright, V-Day and One Billion Rising founder
- Saru Jayaraman, President of One Fair Wage, which supports service workers and has started a fund for those who are struggling
- Magaly Licolli, Co-Founder of Venceremos, a poultry workers’ organization based in northwest Arkansas
Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, Meatpacking plants have forced employees to work in frigid temperatures with little personal space. As a result, meatpacking plants are now a major source of coronavirus infections; a staggering 10,000 coronavirus cases linked to meatpacking locations across the US. Late last week, Secretary of Health and Human Services Director Alex Azar defended the conditions at meatpacking plants, blaming essential workers for the spread of the disease. Azar’s statements came just one week after President Trump ordered meatpacking plants to remain open despite increasing risk of infection.
One Fair Wage (OFW), which advocates for workers who live on tips, launched the One Fair Wage Emergency Fund to provide emergency cash assistance to employees like restaurant workers and delivery drivers, car service drivers, personal service workers, among others affected. Launched with the goal of raising $213,000 (the federal tipped employee minimum wage is $2.13 an hour) with the intention to give each qualified applicant $213, the fund has raised over $20 million to date.
The rapid spread of Coronavirus across the globe has revealed what has always been a glaring truth for so many of the essential workers who are the backbone of our society: the most essential are least valued, are treated as most expendable. It is the working class and poor who are most vulnerable to the virus and the economic disaster that Covid-19 has laid bare. And often it is women who are holding the frontline.
This is the second of two town halls (watch the first here) looking at the needs of frontline and essential workers, including women working in domestic violence shelters where the crisis is also being acutely felt, as numbers are increasing for women who are staying home and are not safe. The first held in April featured essential healthcare workers, farmworkers, activists from National Nurses United and the leader of a domestic violence shelter.
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