Tampa workers rally on International Workers Day
Tampa, FL – Labor and community activists in Tampa rallied May 1 to join the world in celebrating International Workers Day. The rally was called by the Tampa District of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, with speakers including Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society, Tampa Bay Community Action Committee and local union activists.
With dozens of people in attendance, the rally demanded housing and COVID assistance, more protections for all workers and an increase in funding to local social programs. The rally also demanded a stop to the proposed construction of a new Tampa Police Department (TPD) headquarters in East Tampa, a largely African American area of the city.
“East Tampa does not need TPD’s new headquarters. TPD, the same people who police, brutalize and terrorize Black people in this city, has no business setting up their new headquarters in the heart of East Tampa,” said Bill Aiman of the Tampa Bay Community Action Committee. “The city has already spent $65 million on this plan. I can think of a whole lot of other things that money could be spent on instead.”
Kim Smith, a member of IBEW Local 824, spoke on their recent contract negotiations with Frontier Communications and the fight to save retiree healthcare. “Let me give you a little update about what worker power and solidarity does for you. The company backed off cancelling retiree healthcare. This agreement allows our members access to retiree healthcare up to their Medicare eligibility.”
All rally’s attendants committed to continuing the fight for workers’ rights, against TPD’s new headquarters, and COVID relief for all.