Coronavirus: Retail workers ‘scared’ as cases surge

LABOUR activists in the US say big retailers like Amazon and Walmart must do more to protect workers as surging coronavirus cases coincide with the holiday shopping rush.

They are calling for hazard pay, paid sick leave and better communication about outbreaks, among other things.

The campaign comes as workers across the US have spoken out about condition and concerns over their health.

“Associates like me are scared,” said Walmart worker Melissa Love.

The workers rights campaign launched on Monday was organised by United for Respect, a workers rights non-profit that says it represents more than 16 million people across the US.

Separately, the labour union UFCW, whose members include grocery and meatpacking plant workers, also called on employers to do more to protect staff.

Simply put, frontline workers are terrified because their employers and our elected leaders are not doing enough to protect them and stop the spread of this virus,” UFCW International President Marc Perrone said.

Workers said the companies had the means to spend more to protect and compensate workers, noting the way profits have soared during the pandemic, which has shifted purchases to essentials and kept many smaller competitors closed.

BBC

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