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‘Black Workers Matter.’ Fontainebleau Workers Decry Decision To Cut Health Insurance

Matias J. Ocner
Miami Herald
Thomas Azard, 65, participates in a National Strike for Black Lives protest outside of the Miami Beach City Hall on Monday, July 20, 2020.

To many of Miami’s hospitality workers, the racism and indifference portrayed in the video showing a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd until he died as three other officers watched felt familiar.

The largely Black and brown immigrant workforce that makes Miami’s tourism economy run was struggling to get by even before the COVID-19 pandemic torpedoed the industry. Long ago pushed out of Miami Beach due to exploding real estate prices, the workers have also seen wages stagnate.

On Monday, local hotel workers joined the National Strike for Black Lives, a country-wide protest by janitors, nursing home workers and fast food workers to call attention to inequality. Housekeepers, bellmen, porters and cooks from the Fontainebleau, Miami-Dade’s largest hotel, knelt together on the sidewalk across the street from Miami Beach City Hall as bus drivers and people going into a nearby coronavirus testing site honked in support.

To read more, visit our news partner at the Miami Herald.

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