Grocery and Delivery Workers Unhappy With Pandemic Conditions
Many grocery and delivery workers have been earning benefits for work done during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But many of these workers have become unhappy with the working conditions they are being placed in. They feel that the new benefits they have been earning aren’t good enough.
What Benefits Are People Getting?
The benefits that these workers have been getting during the pandemic include increased wages for a limited time. People are also earning special bonuses for working during particular periods. These bonuses are being provided as a thank you of sorts to workers who are keeping essential businesses operational.
Exposure Is a Threat
While there are plenty of benefits for these workers to receive, there are concerns that they are putting themselves at an elevated risk for contracting the coronavirus. The issue comes as many retail locations that are open aren’t doing enough to protect people.
Various stores have been introducing new measures to protect their workers. These include such actions as reducing store hours to allow places to be cleaned off and re-stocked. Workers are also told to go on added breaks for cleaning and washing. There are even some places with Plexiglas screens that go between customers and employees to ensure no one is impacted. There are also signs around many businesses that promote general social distancing efforts.
A Lack of Tips
There are also concerns over how many workers are not getting the tips they have been trying to earn. Groups like Instacart have been adjusting their programs to make it easier for people to get more money. But there are concerns that people who order through these services are not giving out tips. Some delivery workers who engage in “contact-less” delivery services have also found that they aren’t being paid any tips even when they were in the past. A lack of tips could be a concern, as many of these workers have lower than average wages that are frequently offset by tips.
Going On Strike and Other Actions
Some workers have gone on strike due to a lack of protection. Whole Foods workers planned a “sick out” day recently where they would not show up to work. Workers at Trader Joe’s have also been working under protest, as they have gone online to vocalize their desire to add more protections in their work environments.
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union, a prominent American union representing grocery store workers, has also expressed substantial concerns over the industry. The UFCW states that it is trying to get access to added testing and protective gear.
All of these actions occur as many grocery store workers have been left open for work during the pandemic. While many of these workers are open like police officers and healthcare workers, they are not getting the same benefits or protections that others in those fields might earn. Further measures may be announced by other stores to try and improve how well they can protect their workers, but these could be concerns of note.