New Orleans Hospitality Workers Demand Protections At May Day Protest
Hospitality workers took to the streets Friday afternoon calling for free healthcare and expanded unemployment benefits, among other demands.
In observance of May Day, the international workers rights holiday, dozens of socially-distanced protesters lined up in cars and on bikes in a Mid City New Orleans parking lot.
Before rolling into the streets, organizers with the New Orleans Hospitality Workers Alliance outlined their demands. Among them: free healthcare and testing for hospitality workers, hazard pay and access to protective gear, housing as a human right, and unemployment assistance through the end of 2020.
“We are saying workers will not die for capitalist profits,” one organizer said through a megaphone from the roof of a parked car.
The protest comes as business leaders and some elected officials push to reopen the state’s economy.
Gov. John Bel Edwards said Monday he’d hoped to let the statewide stay-at-home order expire and begin the first phase of reopening today but, after examining the data and talking to experts, determined the state was not ready.
Instead, Edwards extended the stay-at-home order until May 15. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s city-wde stay-at-home order expires May 16.