“Amazon warehouse workers in New York walked off the job to demand protection against Covid-19. A county judge in Illinois pressed two McDonald’s franchises to work out an agreement with their employees about the supply of masks and hand sanitizer. And grocery store workers at Publix and Trader Joe’s in Florida have haggled for hazard pay as they work public-facing jobs.
Across corners of the labor market traditionally without unions, the coronavirus is spurring new interest in organizing for safer workplaces and better pay as the nation embarks on a long economic recovery.
Most states have already crafted or kicked off plans to reopen their economies after shutting them down to curb the spread of Covid-19. Now, many among the millions of people who toiled away at invisible low-wage jobs stocking shelves or setting up medical equipment the whole time are looking to capitalize on how “essential” they’ve become.”