Sharon Johnson of The Progressive Magazine discussed essential workers during the pandemic, the hazardous conditions they have worked in and what workers can do to help themselves on the Sept. 21 edition of America’s Work Force Union Podcast.
Throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, Johnson said essential workers in healthcare, transportation and elsewhere have kept the country moving.
Despite this, people working in public transportation, grocery stores and other industries lacked the proper personal protective equipment, leaving them exposed to hazardous conditions that have resulted in undue illness and even death.
Another contributing factor has been working in uncertain environments, where the rules and standards have not been made clear by employers and supervisors.
Johnson said unions have made the difference for essential workers. Since union members have employer sponsored healthcare, they have had access to quality healthcare, sick days and paid vacations.
She also said food and commercial unions have advocated for hazard pay and special protections during the pandemic. From college campus food service employees to grocery store workers, Americans are fighting for their wage during these times.
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