Amazon warehouse workers are walking out and Whole Foods workers are striking
In solidarity with warehouse workers, tech workers at Amazon are demanding the company provide fully paid family leave for people who miss work, provide fully paid leave to all Amazon workers, close facilities immediately following contamination, ensure full paid leave for workers whose jobs are impacted by such closures and ensure everyone has unlimited time to take care of their health.
“Recognizing the urgency of the moment, tech workers are going beyond asking Amazon to take action and are pledging not to work for Amazon if it fails to act,” the DC Tech Workers Coalition wrote in a petition. “We also pledge to ask organizations in our communities such as universities and conferences to not accept Amazon as a sponsor or participant in events.”
Meanwhile, workers at Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, are organizing a “sick out” strike tomorrow to demand better protections on the job, Vice reports.
According to Vice, Whole Foods workers will call in sick tomorrow and demand paid sick leave for those who stay at home or self-quarantine during the pandemic. They will also demand free coronavirus testing for employees and hazard pay.
Led by group Whole Worker, the sick-out was originally planned for May 1, but was moved up in response to reports that workers have started getting sick and testing positive for COVID-19.
“As this situation has progressed, our fundamental needs as workers have become more urgent,” the group wrote on its campaign page. “COVID-19 poses a very real threat to the safety of our workforce and our customers. We cannot wait for politicians, institutions, or our own management to step in to protect us.”
Whole Worker is a group of Whole Foods team members who are not officially unionized, given Amazon’s (Whole Foods’s parent company) long history of union busting. In a petition, they call on all Whole Foods employees to not go to work on March 31, and note that “Whole Foods has temporarily relaxed its strict attendance policy, which means that team members can participate in this act of protest without fear of reprisal.” They are staging the “sick out” in response to the lack of protections they feel management has given them, which put both workers and customers at risk.