Hundreds of fast food workers in California are striking over coronavirus
Staff from McDonald's, Burger King and many other chains are demanding better protections
Hundreds of workers at fast food chains in California went on strike today to demand better protections from coronavirus.
Cooks and cashiers from 50 restaurants across the state, including McDonald’s, and Burger King, walked out on April 9, Vice reports. The staff are demanding that the chains provide masks, gloves and soap. They are also striking for $3 an hour hazard pay as well as two weeks of paid sick leave for employees who have been exposed to covid-19.
Workers from Taco Bell, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Subway, Popeye’s, El Pollo Loco and WaBa Grill also participated in the walkout.
Today’s action was prompted by two strikes earlier this week which took place at McDonald’s spots in San Jose and Los Angeles, where two workers have now tested positive for the virus.
“I’m very afraid for my life and the life of my daughter who also works at McDonald’s,” Maria Ruiz, a 46-year-old cashier at the McDonald’s location in San Jose who has been on strike since Monday, told VICE in Spanish. “Workers are scared of retaliation but we’re not going to wait for one of us to die or get sick with the virus.”
Anne Christensen, a spokesperson for McDonald's told Motherboard: “We’re continuously evolving our safety programs and modifying processes across the U.S. in order to help customers and restaurant employees feel safe. Our supply chain team is working tirelessly to secure critical supplies, such as masks. Masks are starting to arrive in franchisee and company-owned restaurants with allocation going first to areas where the use of masks is required by law, to hotspots with a high level of confirmed cases in the community and then to the rest of the country."