Striking Workers in North Dakota Threaten Food Supply Chain in the Midwest

Friday, November 20, 2020
By Lauren Kaori Gurley,

Seventy-five warehouse workers and delivery drivers at a major regional food distributor in Fargo, North Dakota went on strike on Wednesday to protest their employer Cash-Wa’s refusal to implement protections to curb the spread of COVID-19—prompting union officials to warn that there could be food supply disruptions at restaurants, schools, and hospitals throughout the Great Plains states. 

The workers are employed by Cash-Wa—whose customers include Dairy Queen, Qdoba, Subway, Taco John’s, Pizza Ranch, and four public school districts in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. Altogether, Cash-Wa’s customer-base includes more than 10,000 restaurants, hospitals, convenience stores, and schools across 10 states. 

Since March, essential workers across the country have walked off the job at Whole Foods marketsAmazon warehousesTaco Bells and McDonald’s restaurants, and poultry packing plants to protest working conditions during the pandemic, some asking for hazard pay and others demanding protective gear. Few of these strikes have resulted in major commercial disruptions and product shortages—but as the workforce behind a massive food distribution company, the 75 striking Cash-Wa workers are in a unique position to disrupt a major supply chain if their employer refuses to provide them with more protections.

Read the full story from Vice

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