Tag Archives: April Sims

OPINION: What Juneteenth Means to a Black Woman Labor Leader

Celebrating our resilience in the ongoing fight for economic, racial justice.

by April Sims

Washington will recognize Juneteenth as an official State holiday for the first time this year. This increased recognition of Freedom Day — long celebrated by Black Americans coast to coast — provides an opportunity for Black people to share our resilient history, the country’s history, with our broader community. 

Continue reading OPINION: What Juneteenth Means to a Black Woman Labor Leader

OPINION: I Had COVID-19 — Why I Still Got Vaccinated

by April Sims

(This article was originally published by The Stand and has been reprinted under an agreement.)

As governments and employers announce mandates, COVID-19 vaccination is center stage. While 60% of eligible folks in Washington State are fully vaccinated, and the vaccination rate is higher in some job sectors, we know some of the working people we represent have not gotten the vaccine. At the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC), AFL-CIO, we’re working to provide folks with the answers they need to make an informed choice about vaccination. Talking with union members, a question has come up repeatedly: I already had COVID-19, should I still get vaccinated?

In November 2020, my daughter came home from work feeling unwell. An essential worker, she’s one of thousands of working people in Washington who showed up at her job site even as many of us moved our work lives virtual. Two days later, she tested positive for COVID-19.

Within a few days, despite attempts to isolate, my two daughters, my husband, and I all had COVID-19. I’m someone who rarely gets sick, but the coronavirus took me out. My usually energetic family spent well over a week fighting the virus, and even longer recovering from the lingering fatigue. As secretary treasurer of the WSLC, I have access to paid sick leave, but my daughters and husband had to miss work, unpaid, while they recovered.

One thing I know for sure: I never want to have COVID-19 again. And I’ve seen the research that suggests vaccines provide greater protection against serious illness for folks who’ve had COVID-19 previously. All my family members work in community settings, coming in contact with coworkers or community members, and we have loved ones who are high-risk.

Continue reading OPINION: I Had COVID-19 — Why I Still Got Vaccinated

OPINION: 1919 Seattle General Strike Exemplified Solidarity

by Teresa Mosqueda and April Sims

This week marks the 100-year anniversary of the Seattle General Strike, a five-day solidarity work stoppage by more than 60,000 workers or approximately 20 percent of Seattle’s population. Union workers across industries and across political parties came out to show support for shipyard workers striking to protect their right to fair wages and to bargain collectively and directly with their employers. The elected Strike Committee organized to ensure peace in the streets despite the mayor’s threats of martial law, and to ensure that essential services continued.

Continue reading OPINION: 1919 Seattle General Strike Exemplified Solidarity