There is a long history of Democratic officials picket lines when it is convenient for them. There is a shorter story in which they appear for workers on strike when it is urgently needed for workers forced to strike for justice.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote a new chapter in this shorter and more important story on Wednesday, the day of the inauguration.
AOC has been an outspoken advocate of workers’ rights since its election in 2018. She has made it clear that she understands the duty of elected officials to stand with workers – especially when they go on strike in winter and especially when stubborn managers and biased authorities. On Wednesday night, as the nation’s political and media elites turned their attention to the inauguration celebrations of Joe Biden, AOC rallied with striking workers in the Bronx.
The New York Democrat joined some of the 1,400 striking members of Teamsters Local 202who quit their work at Hunts Point Produce Market as part of a contractual dispute with the facility that is part of the world’s largest food terminal. These key workers are aiming for a $ 1 hourly wage increase and improved health insurance. This is a fair demand for residents of an expensive city who earn between $ 18 and $ 21 an hour. And AOC has reinforced it –Megaphone in hand– on Wednesday evening.
“If you stand on that line, you are asking not only $ 1 but also changes for your life, for the life of every grocer in this country, for children or for grocery workers across the country.” said Ocasio-Cortez when she addressed the workers. Speaking of what is currently upside down in our economy, the Democratic Representative said something was wrong with the fact that a person who helps bring the food to your table cannot feed their own child. It’s upside down. ”
AOC had some nice things to say about President Biden and the dedication ceremony. “The celebrations were phenomenal,” she said told Chris Cuomo on CNN.
But when the call came on Wednesday to show solidarity, the congresswoman joined in new York District Attorney Jumaane Williams, State Representative Amanda Septimo, a Democrat from the Bronx, and member of the Democratic Socialists of America on the cold picket line. “You sounded the alarm. You needed help, ”said Ocasio-Cortez, who showed up Cafe Bustelo coffee, hot chocolate and hand warmers for the strikers.
AOC also turned to the cause with its social media platforms. “It is embarrassing that a company making pandemic profits, millions of PPPs and more in taxpayers’ money is fighting a $ 1 increase for key workers who risked their lives all year to feed us.” she explained on Twitter. “It’s time we stood up for important people everywhere.”
At the picket line, Ocasio-Cortez stood in solidarity with the workers at Hunts Point and with key workers everywhere. As AMNY reported“A worker waved his cell phone with a picture of a baby on it and yelled, ‘That’s why I do what I do! That’s why I’m out here! “AOC replied,” You are not only advocating for your baby, but also for babies across the country. There are grocery workers in every pocket in the United States who deserve it More than a dollar! ”