All across the country, workers are having countless conversations with one another in break-rooms, signal chats and zoom meetings about their working conditions and how to improve them. The pandemic has shone a spotlight on the lack of autonomy in our workplaces and has spurred on a wave of workplace organizing, with workers demanding better safety accommodation, better pay, and more of a say in how shops are run and how decisions are made. Here in Santa Cruz, the workers at the leading edge of this organizing are those at Bookshop Santa Cruz who just announced that they are forming a union--the first retail shop in downtown Santa Cruz to do so. We in DSA Santa Cruz enthusiastically applaud their effort and are ready to support them in any way we can, both in their fight for union recognition and in the contract campaign that will follow.
We also know that the conditions faced by Bookshop workers which led to this organizing drive are not substantially different from those faced by service workers in countless other businesses in Downtown and beyond. We hope that a unionized Bookshop will light the way for other workers confronting the crisis of the pandemic and the underlying crises of capitalism that preceded it.
Workers of Downtown, Unite!
The DSA Labor Working group has an ongoing project to help organize service sector workers in Santa Cruz. If you are interested in connecting with other service sector workers who are organizing in their workplaces, email firstname.lastname@example.org.