More than 300 Missourians from across our state including frontline workers, labor leaders, community members, and faith leaders joined together to virtually rally for workers.
Our state is in the middle of a pandemic, our economy is in chaos, workers are risking their lives and the lives of their families to help hold our community together, and politicians like Governor Parson are turning their backs on their service.
“We are working to make sure that Missouri families have the supplies they need. We literally help put food on people’s tables,” said Sherry Nichols, a worker at Schnucks Loughborough in St. Louis. “While I am grateful that my union has worked hard to make sure I have some basic safety protections at work, I know a lot of workers are not that lucky.”
Missourians are coming together to demand our leaders focus on the things that matter most – protecting workers, their families, and all Missourians.
Speakers from across the state shared their personal stories and demands of Governor Parson while hundreds of supporters waved homemade signs demanding that leaders “Protect All Workers,” “Fund the Frontlines,” along with “We Are Essential.” These slogans have gained traction as more and more Americans realize the labor and risks grocery and retail clerks, health care aides, janitorial and state workers, and more take to keep our state safe, healthy, and fed.
“Our government and elected officials have a moral obligation to respond to the needs of working people, to keep our communities safe, to lead in times of uncertainty, and to protect the social safety net,”
said Rev. Dr. Tex Sample, pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Kansas City.
As of April 18th, more than 225,000 Missourians had filed for unemployment, Tyler Miller, a member of IATSE Local 31 – the stagehands’ union in Kansas City, “We were some of the very first workers laid off, and we will be some of the very last workers to come back.”
Missouri’s unemployment system is one of the stingiest in the country – limited at just 20 weeks with many politicians continually working to cut it to only 13 weeks. This is a disgrace and hundreds of Missourians have already called on Missouri’s leaders to extend our state’s stingy unemployment benefits to at least 20 weeks beyond this crisis.