As you may have already seen, the coronavirus response legislation that passed by the House yesterday includes a carve out for the country’s biggest corporations. That means 80% of workers — including many working on the frontlines of the service industry in retail, restaurants, fast food — will not be covered by this legislation. We sent out the following statement just moments ago and there is a rapid response plan in place.
Amazon and Walmart workers, organizing with United for Respect, are available for interviews to share their concerns about this carve out and other significant public health risks in their companies.
Jaycee Gordon, United for Respect leader and former Walmart associate, said:
“While working families appreciate the prompt action by the House to pass emergency coronavirus legislation, the last-minute carve out of large corporations means 80% of working people at places like Walmart, Amazon and McDonalds won’t be covered. Retail corporations like Walmart don’t care about associates like me. I quit last week because I am pregnant and am at high-risk of contracting coronavirus. I wasn’t receiving any accomodations from my store management to protect me and my family so I chose to leave even though I can’t afford to be out of work. We can’t trust corporate America to do right by working families when they have never done that.
“We need elected leaders to step up and help us try to keep all working people safe during this time of uncertainty. With so many workers excluded, this bill puts the health, security and financial well-being of our country at risk.
“This is not the time for half measures or dangerous carve outs. This is a public health crisis for all working people. That’s why we’re calling for Congress to take bold action to protect all workers and pass comprehensive coronavirus legislation that includes the country’s largest corporations. We need to take real action.”
United for Respect has been calling on corporations and elected leaders to take proactive steps to put the health and welfare of working families and communities ahead of giving more handouts to corporations. Walmart employees and others taking action with United for Respect are calling on the nation’s largest employers to publicly commit to (1) paying employees if businesses are shut down; (2) provide comprehensive health insurance coverage; (3) provide seven paid sick days to all employees year round, and (4) provide safety protection to frontline employees. In just a few days, United for Respect’s sick time petition at Walmart has garnered more than 5,000 signatures, signaling the importance of an overhauled sick time policy at the nation’s largest corporate employer.