UPS Workers Say Company Not Prioritizing Safety as Workers Test Positive

Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Guests: Richard Hooker and David Levin, Democracy Now!

The White House is now estimating 100,000 to a quarter of a million people could die from the coronavirus pandemic. Some of those most concerned about exposure to the highly infectious virus are workers on the frontlines of grocery stores and delivery services. On Monday, Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island walked off the job, and the company fired one of them in response. At least three employees at a large UPS facility near Boston have tested positive, and two dozen more have been quarantined. Details about the infections were shared by the workers’ union because they said the company refused to provide the critical information to its employees. We speak with Richard Hooker, secretary-treasurer of the Philadelphia Teamsters Local 623, and David Levin, lead organizer with Teamsters for a Democratic Union and the coordinator of the UPS Teamsters United campaign.

On Monday, workers who fulfill orders for Instacart staged a protest to demand better working protections and hazard pay. Also Monday, Amazon warehouse workers on Staten Island walked off the job. Amazon fired one of them in response, and we’ll get his response later in the broadcast. Amazon says they fired him because he wasn’t doing social distancing. He tells a different story. On Tuesday, Whole Foods workers organized a national sick-out protest demanding double normal wages for workers as hazard pay for working on the frontlines during a pandemic. This comes as three workers at a large UPS facility near Boston have tested positive and two dozen more have been quarantined.

Read or listen to the full story from Democracy Now!

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