These days most people find themselves thankful to be considered “essential workers.” With the entire world being “shut down” in efforts to curve the coronavirus pandemic, many people are stuck in the house working from home, or just simply bored AF!
On the other side of things, some employees deemed to be essential are finding themselves battling for safe working conditions and a little empathy in these trying times.
People working for companies like Amazon, Walmart, Whole Foods and Target are planning to walk out Friday as a way to force employers to establish better safety standards and give out more hazard pay during this pandemic.
Bottomline: Those who have never gotten the opportunity to stay home and have risked their own lives day in and out are seeking basic care and attention to take place at the workplace. Employees are fed up with companies raking in the cash while they take the risks.
A press release was released Wednesday states that employees plan to either call in sick or walkout during their lunch break(s) on May 1st, which falls on Internation Worker’s Day.
This won’t be the first time disgruntled employees have taken a stand during the spread of this virus. Last month, Whole Foods employees led a national sickout, 700+ Colorado meatpacking workers skipped shifts, Amazon workers in NYC staged a walkout, as well as, sanitation and transportation staging strikes.
People are simply fed up. And they have a ton of leverage on their side with many industries being temporarily shut down.
It is safe to say however, you must tread lightly with some head honchos; going against the grain doesn’t always go over smoothly. Just ask, ex-Amazon employee Christian Smalls, who was a lead organizer of a walkout, was fired by Amazon on March 30 for leading a Staten Island warehouse in a walkout protest. In response, Amazon claims he was fired for violating its mandatory quarantine. Smalls intends on taking legal action but still encourages workers to take their power back!
This coalition of workers also includes employees of companies like Trader Joe’s, Instacart and FedEx. They are demanding compensation for time off dating back to the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, hazard and sick pay for the rest of the pandemic, protective equipment and cleaning supplies provided at all times by employers, and full transparency from companies regarding the amount of coronavirus cases at each facility.
Strikers are also requesting the public NOT to shop these sources or cross picket lines on May 1st.
Honestly, it does not seem like a lot to ask for. It’s more common sense than anything but hey, we’ll see how it plays out.