Workers across the country fight for hazard pay
As the effects of COVID-19 continue, many essential workers aren’t sure when their work will no longer be deemed essential. Like healthcare workers, they’re putting their lives on the line in order to ensure that mail is delivered and grocery stores remain open. They’re coming to Change.org to make their cases for hazard pay for hazardous work. And the news is spreading.
The United States Postal Service reported that at last 250 workers have tested positive for COVID-19 so far. Yet in the face of an infectious disease, postal workers continue to do their jobs. A group of mail carriers has started a petition asking the USPS for pay that reflects the danger involved in their work. At over 530,000 signatures, this petition has been covered by major outlets like Fox News and CBS News with television coverage on MSNBC.
“Despite all the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, mail delivery has remained one of the most steady parts of society. But as the number of coronavirus cases increases, United States Postal Workers are saying it’s time they receive hazard pay.”
We’re safe at home, and we’re able to do so because delivery workers have continued their jobs bringing food and groceries safely to homes. Employees of one of the largest pizza chains in the country, Domino’s Pizza, started a petition for the company to pay hazard pay to workers and delivery drivers. Almost 2,000 supporters have backed Linsey, a Domino’s employee and her mission. The issue has been covered by outlets like Yahoo! Finance and FreightWave, a publication that covers union news.
Meanwhile, Kate, a supporter of Instacart shoppers, started a petition for better pay and safety gear during this pandemic. “Like many workers, Instacart employees are on the front lines of this pandemic. They spend most of their working days going between possibly infected homes and crowded grocery stores,” Kate says.
Workers at Trader Joe’s, Petsmart and Walmart are also fighting for hazard pay. An employee at Trader Joe’s says in their petition: “All we want is to be paid fairly for this. We are asking for Hazard Pay at time and a half. No one could have predicted this situation what so ever.” Over 3,000 people have gotten behind employees.
Another 3,000 are behind Jordan’s petition to help Petsmart workers. Beloved fur friends still need food during this crisis and pet stores have been deemed essential businesses. Grocery workers at Walmart and Sam’s Club have the support of 2,000 signers and counting are behind the retail giants giving their workers hazard pay.
Workers at Texas grocery chain Sprouts are urging the company to provide protective gear and paid sick leave in addition to hazard pay. They have almost 7,000 supporters including Senator Bernie Sanders.
Melliesha knows what it’s like to be on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. As a respiratory therapist, she comes face-to-face with the dangers of COVID-19 every day. Petitions have been started to provide healthcare workers with proper safety gear, but Melliesha wants the federal government to not only protect workers but pay them wages that reflect the danger they’re in. 350,000 supporters agree with her petition.
The Washington Post mentioned the petition and wrote, “When an entire branch of our nation’s workforce must collectively gear up day after day for life-threatening work, with little to no protection, they deserve hazard pay.”
Of course, these essential workers need to get to work somehow. That’s where transit workers come in. They’re essential during this crisis, too, and transit systems across America are still open to riders. Los Angeles residents haven’t forgotten about the danger that transit workers like Kevin must face to keep things running for the rest of us. Thousands are supporting his campaign for hazard pay for the transit workers of LA.
During this crisis, essential workers of all types are using Change.org to rally people around real change. And hundreds of thousands of Americans are supporting their fight for economic justice. Do you believe hazardous work should earn hazard pay? Click here to learn about more COVID-19 petitions.