Service + Solidarity Spotlight: USW Sponsors Innovative Food Pantry for Locked-Out ExxonMobil Workers
Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.
Since ExxonMobil locked out 620 workers more than five months ago, the Texas AFL-CIO, led by President Rick Levy (TSEU/CWA), has supported these workers represented by the United Steelworkers (USW). The corporate giant has sought givebacks from workers while it makes billions in profits, and the USW and the Texas AFL-CIO have called on ExxonMobil to bargain for a fair contract.
Since the beginning of the lockout, the office of USW Local 13-243 has been transformed into a grocery store. A dedicated room in the office stores thousands of food items, household goods, bathroom products and other donated items. Locked-out workers are able to go to the office and choose exactly the items they would need if they were in a grocery store.
“The people that come in here are keeping the fight going—walking the (picket) line each week,” said Mark Morgan, chair of the local’s bargaining committee. “It’s just one of the ways we can try to pay them back and make sure they’re taken care of.”
The flexibility of the pantry allows the USW to assist 200 people a week, and more than $80,000 worth of items have passed through the local’s office since May.
“I knew it was something that I wanted us to be able to do, but so many people came together to actually make it happen,” said Darrell Kyle, president of Local 13-243. “It’s how we support and care for one another.”
Mon, 10/04/2021 – 09:36