Workers at Whole Foods grocery stores across the nation are calling for a global sickout Tuesday, March 31 in response to the company’s policy on sick leave in the time of coronavirus.
The workers are calling on Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, to guarantee paid leave for all workers who isolate or self-quarantine, to reinstate health care coverage for part-time and seasonal workers, to increase testing among workers and to guarantee hazard pay in the form of double pay during regular scheduled hours. they also want the company to implement policies on social distancing between workers and customers and to make sure all stores have adequate sanitation equipment in place.
Employees also want any location where a worker tests positive for the coronavirus to be shut down, with workers continuing to receive full pay until the store can safely reopen
“We cannot wait for politicians, institutions, or our own management to step in to protect us,” the Whole Worker’s National Organizing Committee said in a statement. “We are working harder than we have ever worked. “We are putting our lives at risk. We deserve to have our needs met.”
Whole Foods has responded by asserting that it has taken extensive safety measures, including deep cleaning and crowd control measures as it continues to implement new safety protocols to protect employees.
Employees have access to up to two weeks of paid time off if they test positive for COVID-19 or are quarantined. The company has also increased hourly base pay by $2 per hour and increased overtime pay, according to Whole Foods executive.