2020 Has Brought Us Meta-Strikes

El San Franciscan works for a union that has been organizing strikes and picket lines for their members. He was asked to attend a picket line tomorrow for a health worker’s strike. It’s come out that one of his co-workers contracted Covid, possibly at a recent picket line they were made to attend where the PPE provided was not adequate and social distancing was not enforced. And now, many other co-workers are being quarantined after being exposed to the virus. A few hours ago, I suggested to El San Franciscan that he not go to the picket line tomorrow, and he didn’t think it was an option.

But really, it should be an option. They are not being provided with safe work conditions. In addition to the lack of social distancing and PPE, the strikers tomorrow are nurses and many of them recently tested positive for Covid. So now, the union that represents El San Franciscan and his co-workers, which is a different union from the one for which they work, is urging them to strike by not attending the strike tomorrow. So… it’s a meta strike.

In no way do I want to make light of this. It is tragic that these people, some of whom have underlying health conditions and are at the risk of infecting larger families, are working in unsafe conditions. One of the reasons I am writing this is to simply share a slice of what’s happening in the Bay Area at this time of global pandemic.

But a vestige of my studies (two decades ago!), and of being momentarily obsessed with the concept of meta-communication, is a certain amusement with finding the meta. And to the many incongruous things that 2020 has brought us, we can now add meta-strikes.

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