How has the Covid-19 pandemic made your life harder? For workers in U.S. meat processing plants, the pandemic has made unjust and abusive working conditions even more dangerous. While meat industry executives worked from home, assembly line staff worked shoulder-to-shoulder often without adequate access to personal protective equipment, healthcare or time off. In one high-profile story that sparked outrage, executives at an Iowa pork plant took bets on how many of their workers would contract the disease!
Who are these workers and who speaks for them? Many are immigrants and refugees doing jobs that others don’t want to do. They are the backbone of the food system’s labor force but they are treated as disposable. Fortunately, they are not alone. The Rural Community Workers Alliance (RCWA), a grassroots organization based in Missouri, advocates for them, forcing the companies to make changes to protect their workers.
The director of RCWA, Axel Fuentes, says that the support of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, the UUSC, has been one of the most important reasons that RCWA has been able to survive as it fights for the rights of the most vulnerable. The partnership model of the UUSC supports and empowers grassroots leaders and communities to find transformational solutions to urgent local problems. Is there room at your table for a guest? You can invite Axel Fuentes and the RCWA to share in your good fortune this holiday season by supporting the work of the UUSC.
Your gift to UUSC through the annual Guest at Your Table giving program will help advance community-led change toward a world that prioritizes human rights, thriving communities and a healthy planet.