May 05, 2023

Older Americans Month Begins with May Day

Monday, May 1 was not only the first day of Older Americans Month, it was also May Day, (International Workers’ Day). Throughout May, Alliance members across the country are celebrating seniors’ contributions to the nation and using the occasion to recognize the power of older adults to influence our communities. President Biden has issued a proclamation in honor of Older Americans Month.

May Day is a time to celebrate all workers and the efforts of trade unions and the labor movement. It is also a day of remembrance, since it honors the workers who died during the Haymarket affair bombing in 1886 in Chicago while protesting for an eight-hour workday.

Members of the Texas Alliance (TARA), Young Active Labor Leaders and other activists marked the day by picketing at Starbucks stores across the Dallas metro area. Their signs called for higher wages, the freedom to join a union and other workers’ rights.

TARA members pioneered the “flying pickets” tactic at a string of Starbucks, going from one shop to another and quietly leafleting the employees and customers before picketing on the sidewalk outside.

“International Workers’ Day is a chance to promote the change we need,” said Joseph Peters, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “Legislatively, the best thing we can do as a nation in partnership with local action is to urge Congress to pass the PRO Act, introduced by Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) in the U.S. House as H.R. 20 and by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the Senate as S. 567. It will make it easier to join or form a union, and that means better wages, health care, pensions and retirement security.”

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