"Jive Turkey Game Show" on Fort Lauderdale Beach

As you can see in the video below, rapper "Laguardia Cross," AKA "Turkey Black," hit Fort Lauderdale Beach for Thanksgiving week to raise awareness for the low-wage working conditions faced by airport workers, who are paid less than minimum wage. He is with a group called the Airport Workers Organizing Committee, which is active at JFK, Newark, Laguardia, and Philadelphia airports in addition to Fort Lauderdale. The group currently is working on a campaign to get the Broward County Commission to vote on extending the living wage to airline contractors on December 10.

The group (see website here) believes that it will be able to convince the county commission to pass a living-wage ordinance. Broward County already has an ordinance, but as of now, it has not been applied to airline contract workers.

This all comes on the back of a series of budding labor activism throughout the country. SeaTac, a Seattle suburb, just passed a major minimum-wage hike to $15 per hour. And in August, fast-food workers staged strikes and walkouts throughout the nation.

With U.S. inequality at record levels, the bulk of the monetary power coagulating within the top 1 percent primarily (and the top 20 percent of society secondarily), and with traditional labor unions acting as collaborators with the dominant business classes, the working-class majority has few avenues for remedying the power relationships that are imposed upon it by policymakers and private power. While some unions, like SEIU, attempt to co-opt some of the worker energy, they primarily act as what Adolph Reed called a "giant human resources department."

Yet here and there, worker insurrections continue to take place, in spite of all opposition. If they mobilize into more broad-based and connected structures with a coherent vision to unite the majority against the problem people at the top of the private sector, there is a good chance there can be major living standard gains won for the majority.

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Evan Rowe
Contact: Evan Rowe