Workers at Amazon, Other Firms Plan 'General Strike'

They say they're going to walk off the job Friday
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2020 3:23 AM CDT
Amazon, Whole Foods Workers Plan Friday Strike
Workers at Amazon's fulfillment center in Staten Island, NY, protest work conditions in the company's warehouse, Monday March 30, 2020, in New York.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Workers who say major companies like Amazon aren't doing enough to protect them during the pandemic are planning a strike Friday—and they would like shoppers to show their support by staying away. Organizers say a walkout planned for May 1, International Workers' Day, will also involve workers from Instacart, FedEx, Walmart, Shipt, and other firms, the Hill reports. "Because of the failings of our employers, many of our fellow employees have contracted this deadly virus and some have died," organizers of the "May Day General Strike" said Wednesday. "Although there have been some changes in company policies, they are not enough to adequately protect us."

Organizers say workers will either call in sick Friday or walk out on their lunch breaks, the Intercept reports. The workers' demands include hazard pay, compensation for unpaid time off during the pandemic, and full disclosure of the number of cases in facilities including Amazon warehouses. Organizers say there have been hundreds of infections in more than 100 Amazon facilities. In a statement, Amazon slammed "the irresponsible actions of labor groups in spreading misinformation and making false claims about Amazon during this unprecedented health and economic crisis," USA Today reports. Walmart said it was making worker safety a priority, while Shipt owner Target said the protesters would be only a "very small minority" of its workforce. (An Amazon worker in New York says he was fired for organizing a walkout.)

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