Hamilton Nolan, Labor Reporter for In These Times Magazine spoke with America’s Work Force on April 1 to discuss grocery and construction workers demanding better protections while working during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nolan spoke about grocery and construction workers being deemed essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. These workers, however, have not been provided any additional protections despite being on the frontline and at risk of exposure. Nolan explained that many grocery workers are fighting for “hazard pay,” a raise in their pay, to make up for the stress and dangerous conditions they are experiencing while working. He also spoke about the construction industry and how workers are trying their best to adhere to safety recommendations that were made to decrease the spread of the virus. Since construction workers are deemed essential in most states, they are still working on job sites, but are finding it difficult to follow the “six foot” separation rule. He also said that projects are being re-prioritized, with less workers being sent to low priority projects.
Dave Megenhardt, Executive Director of the United Labor Agency (ULA) spoke about finding jobs for people who have been laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic. He explained that members of the ULA are now working at home, but are still working diligently to place people with jobs. With the amount of people who have, and will lose their jobs as more businesses are affected by COVID-19, the ULA will be by people’s sides and be there for them in this time of need.
AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc spoke about healthcare workers being threatened by their employers with being fired if they publicize their working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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