Whole Foods Workers Plan 'Sick-Out' Protest Over Coronavirus Safety Concerns


NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Whole Foods employees are planning to strike on Tuesday to protest a lack of safety protections for workers amid the coronavirus crisis.

Workers plan a "sick-out" day, where they will call out sick if the company doesn’t give them more resources, guaranteed sick leave to employees who self-isolate, reinstatement of health care coverage for part-time workers, double hazard pay, and safety measures that include ensuring workplaces stay clean and the closure of any store where a worker tests positive.

Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, is currently allowing unlimited call-outs, and employees that participate in the strike will not face consequences.

According to a statement on Twitter, Whole Workers, a Whole Foods labor organization, is the group urging workers to participate in the protest.

The strike was originally scheduled to occur on May 1.

"As this situation has progressed, our fundamental needs as workers have become more urgent," Whole Worker, a labor movement within the grocery chain, wrote in a statement.

Several Whole Food workers, including one at the Bowery location have tested positive for coronavirus and the stores have remained open.

Whole Foods has increased wages for workers by $2 an hour and have also promised workers diagnosed with COVID-19 or quarantined two weeks of paid leave.

On Monday, a group of employees at Amazon's Staten Island fulfillment center demonstrated outside the site over concerns about contracting coronavirus after the warehouse was kept open after at least one other worker tested positive.

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