The Uprising of America's Workforce

By now, all "non-essential" establishments have been shut down, or employees are only kept on site for drop-off and pick-up purposes. We owe so much to these workers; they've provided us with the food and products that we need to push through this COVID-19 pandemic, all the while putting their own lives at risk. Employees like these across the country--workers that we likely took for granted before COVID-19--are being hailed as heroes. As they should. However, many of these employees report a no-mercy policy with little understanding from their employers. The Higher-Ups. The Powers That Be.

Amazon warehouse employees, trash workers, and employees from Whole Foods have up and walked off the job. There are videos all over YouTube of truckers discussing how they feel unappreciated. A JoAnn Fabrics in Colorado has now joined the growing number of employees who have had enough. Enough of working for a poor wage as it is; but most especially during this pandemic, where they are being asked to risk so much, that low wage feels like a slap in the face. They've had enough of the long hours. Enough of the carelessness on the part of those Higher-Ups. How many workers will follow?

Who among us HASN'T worked that soul-crushing retail or restaurant job where you were treated as "just a number"? Think back to that category entitled "The Worst Jobs I've Ever Had" that you keep in the filing cabinet inside your head. Do you think that horrible job would have treated you like you should be treated during a crisis like this pandemic? Probably not. They likely would have done "what's best for the business." Remember that feeling? This is what many workers are facing at the moment.

Granted, the CDC has issued a "guide for employers" regarding safe practices during this pandemic, and how to protect their employees. (To take a look at this guide, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html.) One of these practices says, "ACTIVELY encourage sick employees to stay home."

"Actively," really? Think back to that miserable job you had to take just to pay the bills. Would your boss have "actively encouraged" you to go home if you were sick? I know that my boss at "My Worst Job" wouldn't have. How many jobs out there, the ones who aren't "the big guys," are really following CDC practices to their fullest? Sure, they might be NOW, but for many employees, it's too little, too late.



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