By Hayley Crandall
The Young Workers Committee will be hosting an essential worker rally downtown at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 20 to express the group’s opposition towards President Donald Trump.
The “Essential Workers Rally to Stop Trump” was inspired by the committee’s opposition of how the president has treated essential workers, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Donald Trump is an enemy of the working class,” Tracey Schwerdtfeger, co-chair of Young Workers Committee. “And he needs to be removed from office.”
The rally is set to be held downtown at West Michigan Street and Vel R. Phillips Avenue and public health guidelines will be followed.
The organizers are taking safety very seriously, masks are required and social distancing measures will be in place, according to Schwerdtfeger.
The committee, which is under the Milwaukee Area Labor Council, AFL-CIO, is concerned about a variety of Trump’s actions, including valuing businesses over workers during this time, Schwerdtfeger explained.
“I think that there are multiple things we are concerned about,” Schwerdtfeger said. “We think that he has had an absolutely horrific response to the coronavirus pandemic. He’s been putting business interests in front of essential workers.”
There’s been a lack of compensation for workers and the unemployed, Schwerdtfeger continued.
“I work in a hospital and I think it’s outrageous that me and all other essential workers have not been able to even receive something like hazard pay,” Schwerdtfeger said. “Or for our other brothers and sisters who are out of work. To not want to extend the $600 unemployment is causing an economic crisis in households across the country.”
This is an important time, Schwerdtfeger explained, and young people should be involved. The committee is comprised of workers under 40 years of age.
“This is really a crucial time in our history,” said Schwerdtfeger. “What Donald Trump has done and what he represents, we view it as he is a dangerous person and we think that it’s our responsibility as not only labor activists but also as young people to be involved in the defeat of Donald Trump and everything that he represents.”
A march will also follow the rally, starting at West Michigan Street and Vel R. Phillips Avenue and going towards to a U.S. Postal Office located at 345 W. St. Paul Ave.
U.S. Postal Service workers are very involved in the rally and they want to show support for them, Schwerdtfeger explained.
“We really want to show solidarity to the postal workers who are also facing great attack from the Trump administration,” said Schwerdtfeger.
The rally is also intended to support other communities oppressed by Trump. Members of the Young Workers Committee, whether individually or part of the group, have been involved in protests over the summer and they stand with the Black Lives Matter movement, said Schwerdtfeger.
“Something that I hope this rally achieves is being able to show essential workers as well as our community that there is a lot of solidarity among young people and young people in the labor movement,” said Schwerdtfeger. “We are really hoping that we can help be the inspiration of getting Trump out of office come the November election.”