United Auto Workers president Shawn Fain has called on unions to come together for a national strike in 2028. This is a radical idea — and elevating Medicare for All as a central demand would give workers across sectors a reason to join in.

by Jonathan Michels and Will Cox, Jacobin

Fresh off their historic labor victory against the country’s Big Three automakers, the United Auto Workers (UAW) are laying the groundwork for workers across multiple sectors to join them in a general strike on International Workers Day, May 1, 2028.

UAW president Shawn Fain’s call to utilize labor power — four hundred thousand working members and six hundred thousand retirees make up the UAW alone — for the “good of the entire working class” is a major departure from business-as-usual unionism and represents a potential game changer for social movements to secure public goods, including Medicare for All, that extend beyond the shop floor.

we want Medicare for all sign

The struggle for single-payer health care is part of a larger conflict between the working class and the billionaire class. Incremental reforms have gotten the single-payer movement nowhere, while legislative lobbying has proved insufficient. Nothing short of a nationwide campaign of rank-and-file workers — union and nonunion alike — willing to confront capital will be strong enough to secure transformative health reform.

In order to win, single-payer activists must embrace this once-in-a-generation opportunity and join in solidarity with workers in ways many never have before.

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