Following the announcement of COVID-19 testing in Walmart parking lots, employees raise concerns about public health safety inside stores, reiterate calls for paid sick time and paid family leave

NATIONWIDE Today, following President Trump’s news conference on coronavirus, United for Respect leader and Walmart employee of ten years Mendy Hughes issued the following statement: 

“Today, President Trump announced his team to combat coronavirus, and it didn’t include a single scientist, healthcare worker, civil servant or retail worker. But retail employees like me are the ones on the frontlines. We support Walmart’s effort to accelerate testing, but retail workers, customers and the general public need the company to do more to protect public health inside the stores with comprehensive paid sick days policies and health care coverage. Trump’s choice to parade big retail and pharma CEOs in front of the country shows that his administration and corporate America will be looking out for each other, not working people and our families, in this crisis.”

United for Respect continues to call on corporations and politicians to take proactive steps to put the health and welfare of working families and communities ahead of giving more handouts to corporations. Walmart employees taking action with United for Respect are calling on the nation’s largest employer 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.

United for Respect is also calling on politicians to provide immediate relief to working people and the most vulnerable in our society by passing the Families First Coronavirus Act, which provides emergency paid leave, enhanced unemployment aid, and free testing for coronavirus. Beyond the crisis, people who work hourly jobs need permanent solutions like paid family and medical leave to keep themselves and their families healthy and safe.  

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 employer. If you’re covering Walmart and would like to speak to an hourly employee, please contact Taylor Campbell at (202) 854-9571 or [email protected].