Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s the latest edition of the Working People Weekly List.
The New Front-Line Coronavirus Workers: Grocery Clerks, Delivery Drivers: "Much of the American workplace has shut down, sending millions of employees home to wait out the coronavirus pandemic. Among those still on the job are grocery-store clerks, prison guards and delivery drivers. 'Who would have ever thought that we would be on the front lines?' said Joyce Babineau, a 67-year-old supermarket supervisor in Dartmouth, Mass., a coastal village 60 miles south of Boston."
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Discusses the Labor Movement’s Respose to the Coronavirus Pandemic: "AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka joined Bloomberg TV this morning to talk about the labor movement's response to the coronavirus pandemic and why we need to invoke the Defense Production Act."
What Grocery Store Workers Need: "As of this writing, supermarket workers in Denver, Oregon and Washington state have tested positive for COVID-19. Here in New York City, two Trader Joe’s supermarkets have suddenly faced temporary closures after workers at the Soho and Union Square stores became confirmed cases of the disease. The closures at these stores, which have seen huge increases in customer traffic since the onset of the crisis, highlight the dangers grocery store workers—performing their jobs in close quarters with other workers and customers—are facing, typically for low pay and benefits. The situation is set to become even more precarious as more New Yorkers become ill, with the peak of the pandemic apparently still awaiting us weeks or even months in the future."
AFL-CIO's Trumka: Coronavirus Relief Package 'Not Perfect' but 'Going to Do a Lot of Good': "AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka expressed support for the coronavirus stimulus package moving through Congress, although he said it's 'not perfect'."
‘Just Keep the Faith’: Workers Are Stepping Up to Beat Coronavirus: "The Machinists union and the AFL-CIO have circulated a brief video of [Trevar] Smedal as part of an effort to highlight the role union workers have played in addressing the coronavirus outbreak. Looking into the camera, he tells an anxious America, 'Just keep up the faith. I know that my co-workers, we’re going to show up every day and we’re going to get out as many as we can.'"
Nurses Call for More Protective Gear, Training in the U.S.: "In some parts of the country, nurses are already struggling to secure the equipment and training they need to safely care for their patients, while protecting themselves from the infectious disease. Without the proper protection or training, the risk is high for nurses, especially since they have the most direct contact with patients. To understand the impact this pandemic is having on nurses, The Takeaway spoke to Jean Ross, the president of National Nurses United, the largest organization of registered nurses in the United States, and Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, a registered nurse at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx and the president of the New York State Nurses Association."
Who Is Most at Risk in the Coronavirus Crisis: 24 Million of the Lowest-Income Workers: "This week, unemployment claims soared as state and federal officials restricted public gatherings and shuttered stores to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. Using wage data from the U.S. Department of Labor and working conditions surveys from O*NET, we analyzed those who are most vulnerable."
Unions: “Essential” Workers Need More Coronavirus Protection: "Union leaders, representing workers that have been deemed 'essential' as Illinois battles the coronavirus, called Monday for more protective gear to guard members against infection."
Women's History Month Profiles: Roxanne Brown: "For Women's History Month, the AFL-CIO is spotlighting various women who were, and some who still are, leaders and activists working at the intersection of civil and labor rights. Today, we are looking at Roxanne Brown."
Fighting the Coronavirus: Making Ventilators: "Trevar Smedal is a member of Machinists (IAM) Local 1406 employed at General Electric's Datex-Ohmeda in Madison, Wisconsin. He and his co-workers are in a race against the clock to produce ventilators needed in the worldwide fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch the video to hear Trevar's story."
Put Workers First: In the States Roundup: "It's time once again to take a look at the ways working people are making progress in the states."
Women's History Month Profiles: Jessie Lopez de la Cruz: "For Women's History Month, the AFL-CIO is spotlighting various women who were, and some who still are, leaders and activists working at the intersection of civil and labor rights. Today, we are looking at Jessie Lopez de la Cruz."
Talking About COVID-19: Labor Podcast and Radio Roundup: "In addition to the AFL-CIO's own 'State of the Unions,' there are a lot of other podcasts out there that have their own approach to discussing labor issues and the rights of working people. Here are the latest podcasts from across the labor movement in the United States."