HALF A MILLION ESSENTIAL WORKERS FEEDING OUR COMMUNITies
Across California, 550,000 fast food workers serve more than 10 million customers every day. These frontline workers are predominantly women, Black, and Latinx. Many of them are single parents trying to support their families, but they make less than $28,000 a year on average and are regularly denied sick leave and other benefits. All workers deserve to be treated fairly under any circumstances, but during a global pandemic, this violation of workers’ basic rights is simply disgraceful.
ON THE FRONTLINES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
The crisis has highlighted what we knew to be true all along: that fast-food workers are essential but they get treated like they are expendable. As stay-at-home orders took effect across the state, fast food workers remained on the frontlines to keep our communities fed, even when it put them at risk of contracting COVID-19.
At the height of a pandemic, workers have been pressured to work while sick, fired for calling in sick, stiffed on the sick pay they’re legally entitled to, and denied personal protective equipment they were promised by their employers.
Fast food workers have too often been forgotten in the stories about essential workers. And they’ve been treated like they don’t matter by the chains they work for. Fast food workers have been given doggie diapers to wear as masks, and exposed to daily barrages of racial slurs, simply for trying to protect themselves, their coworkers, and their communities.