8 Minutes, 46 Seconds—Stop Work.
Thursday, June 11, 12 Noon
Black Lives Matter
The vicious murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer has spawned a massive uprising in cities and towns across the United States and the globe. While some of you have found ways to participate in or support these protests while observing appropriate COVID-19 precautions, we have not been able to come together as we normally would as a CWA family to share our outrage and our grief.
A little over a week ago, the CWA Executive Board issued a statement on the need to dismantle the racism that plagues our communities. If you have not yet had a chance to read the statement, you can find it at https://cwa-union.org/news/releases/statement-cwa-executive-board-on-need-dismantle-racism-plagues-our-communities. Since issuing the statement, the Board, with support from staff members, has been discussing the steps we must take to move beyond words into action. Expect to hear more about those plans in the coming weeks.
As a first step, on Thursday, June 11, at 12 noon in each time zone, CWA members and workers who are organizing to join CWA will be using one of the most powerful tools we have: the power to withhold our work.
We will show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement by stopping work for 8 minutes and 46 seconds—the length of time the Minneapolis police officer had his knee on George Floyd’s neck—and reflecting on our obligation as trade unionists to fight racism and police violence.
I strongly encourage you to participate in this work stoppage.
Our members work in different circumstances, and CWA District, Sector and Division Vice Presidents have sent suggestions to their locals about ways to observe the 8:46 including:
- Gather in a small group in your workplace, socially distanced, and hold signs in solidarity. Downloadable signs are available at cwa-union.org/cwa-against-racism-downloadable-materials
- Stand up in your work location.
- Take a knee in your work location.
- Use your lunch break to hold a socially distanced picket line outside your work location.
- Take a selfie that can be posted in solidarity. Post this with your selfie: 8:46. Stop Work and Reflect. Black Lives Matter. #CWAforBlackLives
You may have other ideas that are appropriate to your circumstances. Please take action in a way that is meaningful for you.
Thank you all for your commitment to strengthening our union.