Since last year with the Warm Hearth Village Workers Committee picketing Warm Hearth Village over racism on the job, workers have reported a significant victory for the Black workers dealing with their discrimination at work.

After WHV bosses served a lifetime ban on supporters of the WHV workers committee for joining their picket and locking down WHV to prevent workers and supporters from delivering their demands to WHV bosses, they decided to sit down and negotiate with the two Black workers subjected to racism at work.

The pressure of worker organizing and action scared the bosses to the negotiating table where these two workers agreed to settlements to the tune of over $10,000 dollars for the harm caused to them. One of these workers commented:

“I was discriminated against and I filed a complaint with the EEOC and once the bosses found out about the protest with BLM and everything that was coming their way they offered me a settlement. And I accepted.”

While local liberals were busy cozying up to local cops and giving them a platform to profess how “good” community relations are as the Black Lives Matter movement swept the nation, New River Workers Power and the Warm Hearth Village Workers Committee were organizing and fighting for Black workers’ respect and dignity on the job. 

Across the New River Valley we witnessed several symbolic protests and press conferences that pandered to BLM while doing nothing to materially improve Black workers’ lives. This was a common feature and shortcoming of last year’s BLM movement. It has become co-opted by liberal peacekeepers who prefer a negative peace to ensure order over all else. We can see the general weakness of social justice locally and nationally when after an insurrectionary wave of rebellion against this racist system featuring the capture of several police precincts across the country and promises from politicians to “defund the police” we now see the nonprofits operating under the banner of BLM being snubbed by the Biden administration while all politicians have backed away from “defund the police” slogans, in fact many have now become the biggest proponents of funding and celebrating cops for “protecting us” from fascist boogeymen.

The answer to white supremacy isn’t spontaneous rioting and the respectability politics of nonprofits and liberals, but the organization of Black workers and the building of solidarity between Black workers and non-Black workers so that an injury to one is seen as an injury to all. Our best weapon to destroy white supremacy is independent worker organization through worker committees and waging strikes against the bosses who literally profit from this racist system. Step by step, strike by strike we will smash this system and establish worker control for Black and class liberation.

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