Whole Foods, Target, Instacart and others plan unprecedented strike on May Day
Workers are protesting against a lack of protections and benefits during COVID-19
Workers at some of the country’s largest companies are staging a strike on May Day, to protest the lack of protections and benefits that frontline staff have been given during this pandemic.
Employees from Whole Foods, Amazon, Instacart, Walmart, Target and FedEx are planning unprecedented strike action on May 1 (International Workers’ Day), reports The Intercept.
The workers wrote in a joint statement, “Our companies have failed us in these unprecedented times. This is a matter of life or death.”
Staff will walk off the job or stage “sick-outs” and are encouraging customers to boycott these businesses.
“We are acting in conjunction with workers at Amazon, Target, Instacart and other companies for International Workers’ Day to show solidarity with other essential workers in our struggle for better protections and benefits in the pandemic,” said Daniel Steinbrook, a Whole Foods employee and strike organizer.
Whole Worker is a grass roots collective of Whole Food workers. It wrote in a pledge for workers to walk out: “It is impossible to properly follow social distancing guidelines in stores when interacting with customers, Amazon Prime shoppers, and other employees both on the floor and in the back of the house. As a result, Whole Foods team members are putting their lives at risk by coming to work. At least two Whole Foods team members have already died from coronavirus.
“Our current paid sick leave policy, which requires a formal diagnosis or a doctor-ordered quarantine in order to receive the two weeks pay, is not adequate to keep workers safe. We cannot be expected to stay home from work without knowing whether or not we will be paid for our lost hours. Our current pay is not adequate compensation for the risk that the job poses to Whole Foods team members and their families.”
Target workers, meanwhile, claim that customers’ behaviour when shopping is “atrocious”. Their pledge reads: “Our maximum capacity of guests have been set too high, their demeanor is also casual and reckless. They do not respect our space, they are not coming to our stores exclusively for essential items, but are occupying our stores out of boredom and for fun.”