No human is replaceable. The U.S. economy was built on the unpaid, enslaved, and forced labor of Black people. The globalized economic system is rooted in the exploitation of labor from the Global Black Diaspora, and has only benefited the white and wealthy few. Constant productivity is not sustainable for any worker, nor for the planet. An economy built on care and sustainability means prioritizing health, rest, joy, and purpose for all workers—and it means rejecting extractivism, and slave and manual labor, which harm our bodies, mental health, and communities.
Our global economy was built upon the colonialist frameworks of oppression and subjugation, and is maintained by exploited domestic workers, caretakers, teachers, manufacturers, miners, nurses, sex workers, and other underpaid and underappreciated labor roles. There must be dignity, pride, and just compensation for all labor roles.
Healthy working conditions—with living wages, restorative health benefits, and culturally relevant healing support—are needed to repair hundreds of years of generational harm. Workers’ rights, rooted in a Black queer feminist framework that centers CEJ at its heart, is the only way we can work our way out of this climate crisis.
The Black Hive @M4BL Demands:
- Reformed policies and programs to support individuals working in traditional care; and manufacturing and labor roles with life-affirming support structures, such as paid family leave, holistic health care, liveable wages, retirement plans and vacation days, universal childcare, and the right to organize
- Formal recognition of the care economy and this workforce, with quantifiable value and compensation via universal basic income as a recognition of their economic contributions to society
- Immediate end to corporate reliance on and use of carceral labor as modern slave labor
- Proportional investment in impacted workers and support for upgrading the broken infrastructure to a sustainable and clean system inclusive of equitable hiring processes and contracting opportunities for Black workers; healing support for all workers harmed by unfit work conditions
- A guarantee that all coal, oil, and gas workers be given at least five years of wages taken from shareholder profits, to support them in job retraining opportunities, insurance coverage, pension support, early retirement offerings, healing, and priority placement in alternative-energy jobs