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  • Walking out on Amazon because they lying to us,

  • not caring about our health or safety.

  • We want better equipment, protective gear.

  • We have no masks.

  • We want hazard pay.

  • If I lose my job, I lose my job.

  • I shouldn't be speaking like this, but I don't care.

  • I don't care, I don't give a anymore

  • cause I'm scared too.

  • In the middle of this coronavirus crisis,

  • I am obviously one of the lucky ones.

  • I can just get my work done at home on a laptop

  • with my tiny coworker, Liam, here, who's four months old.

  • But obviously there are many, many people in this country

  • who aren't in that position

  • who still have to go to jobs at grocery stores,

  • warehouses, factories, etc.

  • It's a little hard to tell exactly how many people

  • are still going to those kinds of jobs,

  • but the Brookings Institution estimates

  • that before the COVID crisis,

  • there were as many as 62 million people in those jobs,

  • and no doubt many of them are still going to work.

  • And what started to happen in recent days

  • is since those jobs have become a lot more risky,

  • some of those workers are starting to strike

  • for better working conditions.

  • In the past couple weeks, we've seen walk-outs

  • at Purdue, at McDonald's, at InstaCart,

  • at Whole Foods, at Amazon.

  • There is this national and global crisis,

  • which is being experienced in a particularly acute way

  • in a number of work places that many people in America

  • have not thought of those places where workers

  • have much leverage.

  • And some of the calculation that workers make

  • about whether it's worth confronting the boss,

  • whether it's worth acting collectively,

  • that calculation is shifted when people have real fears

  • about it being dangerous to come into work

  • if they don't have changes made.

  • Workers at an Amazon warehouse facility

  • on Staten Island are staging a walkout today.

  • They're complaining about the fact that their facility

  • has not been cleaned out since a worker there

  • tested positive.

  • They think up to six other workers

  • may have tested positive as well,

  • and they want Amazon to close down that distribution center

  • for a period of time, have it entirely sanitized.

  • Tell me a little bit more about the Amazon situation.

  • We've heard about a lot about this Staten Island warehouse,

  • but I guess there's a couple other locations as well.

  • There've now been walkouts at Amazon warehouses

  • in Staten Island, in Chicago, and in Michigan.

  • In each of these cases, you have workers saying

  • the company is not doing enough to keep them safe.

  • I'm doing this because of my health

  • and my fellow workers as well.

  • It should be closed down.

  • It should be cleaned properly.

  • The key complaint they had was around

  • what the workers thought was a lack of transparency

  • around just how they were being told

  • about positive COVID cases within their workforce.

  • They say sometimes it took too long,

  • so they walked out over it,

  • and pressed management with some demands

  • about sick pay should they get the virus

  • and that kind of thing.

  • If you have sick employees at your job,

  • and they pass the coronavirus down to your customers,

  • what are you gonna say then?

  • We need that protection as well.

  • We need to know that, we want to feel safe while working.

  • And that's it.

  • Amazon released a statement on the day of the walkout

  • saying that the protestors accusations were unfounded,

  • and saying we have taken extreme measures

  • to keep people safe, tripling down on deep cleaning,

  • procuring safety supplies that are available,

  • and changing processes to ensure that those in our buildings

  • are keeping safe distances.

  • Amazon also offers an example of one of the challenges

  • for this worker pushback.

  • A leader of the strike in Staten Island,

  • the same day that the strike happened

  • was terminated by Amazon.

  • We had a successful walkout.

  • We got the message out.

  • We got people aware, that's what we here for.

  • Amazon says they weren't retaliating

  • for raising safety concerns.

  • They were actually enforcing safety rules,

  • but that strike leader says he was being punished

  • for standing up for his coworkers.

  • The question of what happens to workers who stand up

  • and whether those protests become inspirations

  • or cautionary tales about how you can get yourself

  • in an even worse situation is crucial.

  • And people are going to take mixed messages

  • from some of these examples.

  • Let's talk about the situation with Whole Foods.

  • Tell me about what's been going on there.

  • To add to the strike parade, I guess, at Amazon,

  • which owns Whole Foods, their workers or a subset of them

  • started holding a sick-out on Tuesday

  • where folks called in sick.

  • They were asking for better protections on sales floors.

  • Some folks had wanted to wear masks in recent weeks,

  • and they cited some fuzzy guidance from management on that,

  • and just again, the general feeling that

  • if something were to happen to them,

  • they want guarantees from management

  • that they'd have their costs covered

  • or be able to care for family members.

  • Myself and all the Whole Foods employees

  • need to keep putting as much pressure on them as possible

  • to make these changes for the employees, the customers,

  • and the public health, and the good of the company, frankly.

  • Paid sick leave, reimbursement for testing,

  • hazard pay, and a firm policy for shutting down stores

  • when an employee tests positive for COVID-19.

  • All these things have big implications for safety,

  • not just for the employees, but for the customers

  • and the public health at large.

  • Have you heard about any changes that the company

  • is going to make in response to this action?

  • I have not, no.

  • We don't know exactly how many people called out sick,

  • but we talked to workers in Illinois, New York,

  • New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas

  • who said that they did that on Tuesday.

  • The company says its operations weren't affected.

  • Stores remained open.

  • Those Whole Foods and Amazon strikes

  • are really just the tip of the iceberg.

  • In the past week and a half or so,

  • we've seen demonstrations by employees

  • at a Purdue chicken plant in Georgie,

  • sanitation workers in Pittsburgh,

  • and GE factory workers in Massachusetts,

  • all basically advocating for similar things,

  • safer, more sanitary work conditions.

  • Although in the case of GE, those workers are also

  • trying to get their company to switch over

  • to more manufacturing of ventilators for hospitals.

  • Workers at McDonald's are also getting in on the action

  • in several states led by the advocacy organization,

  • Fight for $15.

  • We was told, we're not to wear masks or gloves by the GM

  • here at McDonald's.

  • She was told by McDonald's we're not supposed

  • to use masks.

  • And the reason we're out here today

  • is because we wondering what they're gonna do

  • about our safety.

  • Right now, they're doing nothing.

  • So, is any of this having an effect?

  • Well, in some cases it seems like the answer

  • is a cautious yes.

  • Just in the past couple days, we've seen McDonald's

  • announce that they're going to introduce

  • better safety practices, and that they're even considering

  • hazard pay for some workers.

  • And Amazon has announced that starting early next week,

  • it's going to be handing out masks to all its employees

  • and doing temperature checks

  • at all of its warehouse locations.

  • So it seems like some of these workers at least

  • are starting to get some of what they want.

  • The question now for many labor organizers

  • is can these short-term concessions be parlayed

  • into more permanent change for American labor?

  • What's going on now creates an opening

  • for various kinds of organizing

  • that might not've been there before.

  • We will know more in the weeks and months ahead

  • about how much these protests change things,

  • and to what extent they lead to changes

  • that outlast the coronavirus,

  • and to what extent they can lead to organization

  • and leverage for workers that outlast this current,

  • very unusual moment.

Walking out on Amazon because they lying to us,

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B1 中級 新型コロナウイルス 新型肺炎 COVID-19

Covid-19は反撃するために「重要な労働者」を後押ししている (Covid-19 Is Pushing 'Essential Workers' To Fight Back)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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