A strike is our last resort. If and when a strike becomes necessary, it is important to be prepared.
1. Update your contact information with the union.
Make sure the union has your current home address, cell phone number, and email address so you can stay informed on the latest developments.
2. Take stock of your financial situation.
Fill out a budget, reduce what spending you can, and try to save a little out of each paycheck – starting now.
3. Keep bills current.
Creditors are more likely to work with you when you’re on strike if you’ve paid your bills on time in the past.
4. Contact your utility companies.
Contact your utility companies (electric, water, gas, cable/Internet) to let them know you may have to go on strike and to ask about options for alternative payment plans.
5. Postpone major purchases.
If you can get by without making a major purchase, wait until the contract is settled.
6. Avoid credit purchases and reduce your credit card debt if you can.
You may rely on your credit card if you are on strike. Consider signing up for the Union Plus credit card, which is willing to work with union members on strike.
7. Stock up on food and medicine.
Use your health insurance to stock up on medicines you need and stock up on non-perishable food for the future.
8. Use your health insurance now.
Take advantage of your current health insurance coverage and schedule any doctors appointments you need for yourself and your children now.
9. File your taxes early.
Take advantage of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program for free assistance with filing your taxes. Find a site nearest you on the IRS website.
10. Work your Sundays.
Take advantage of premium pay hours now while you’re still working.
11. Support your coworkers and stick together!
These services and resources can help you while you’re on strike.
Financial Empowerment Centers
United Way of the National Capital Area’s Financial Empowerment Centers offer direct access to high quality financial services and guidance in a welcoming, professional environment at no cost.
Financial Empowerment Center at the South County Government Center
8350 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, VA 22309
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday – 10 AM – 4:30 PM
Wednesday 10 AM to 8 PM;
Saturday 10 AM to 2 PM (by appointment)
Financial Empowerment Center at Prince George’s Community College
Prince George’s Community College, Center for Advanced Technology, Room 102
301 Largo Road, Largo, MD 20774
Monday – noon to 8 PM
Tuesday through Friday – 9 AM to 5 PM
Financial Empowerment Center at Prince William County
Virginia Career Works – Prince William Center
13370 Minnieville Road, Woodbridge, VA 22192
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday – 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Wednesday – 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Financial Empowerment Center at Greater Washington Urban League (Washington, DC)
Marshall Heights Community Development Organization
3939 Benning Road NE, Washington, DC 20019
Monday, Friday – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday – 12:00 PM -7:00 PM
Saturday – By appointment only
2-1-1 is a free health and human services helpline number that connects callers with information about social, health and government services in their local community.
Dial 2-1-1 to speak with an operator. 2-1-1 operators are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to assist callers in search of social services.
There are 2-1-1 call centers in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. In 2017, the 2-1-1 call centers answered more than 450,000 calls in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. The most common requests for help were for shelter and rental and utility assistance.
If you can’t reach 2-1-1 from your cell phone, dial the 10-digit number in your jurisdiction:
- Dial 202-463-6211 in Washington, DC
- Dial 410-685-0525 in Maryland
- Dial 800-230-6977 in Virginia
Free Tax Assistance
The mission of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program is to provide free tax help to low and moderate income individuals and families, persons with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers in Washington DC and neighboring counties in Maryland and Virginia who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns from reliable tax preparers.
VITA provides free tax preparation assistance to individuals earning less than $56,000 in 2019.
United Way has also partnered with MyFreeTaxes.com to provide a free online filing service for households making less than $66,000 per year.
Frequently Asked Questions About Going on Strike
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received about going on strike.