Alabama Sanitation Workers Strike – Fruit Workers Win Changes – 66,000 Healthcare Workers Have COVID

Tuskegee Sanitation Workers Strike over Unsafe Conditions (Alabama News Network)



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229 Strike on the Boards 

The Strike Tracking Map continues to grow. We are now up to 229 strikes since March 1st. 

Check out our Strike Tracking Map for updates on old strikes that we discovered as well as our new one. 

Tuskegee, Alabama Sanitation Workers Go on Strike

In Tuskegee, Alabama, black garbage workers have gone on strike demanding more protective equipment and pay

For more, check out Alabama News Network. 

Mason Fruit Workers Win Strike in Yakima Valley 

A series of roving wildcat strikes have targeted fruit workers in the Yakima Valley for more than two weeks now and it appears that some workers are already beginning to win victories. 

From the Yakima Herald

Kathy and Adrian Mendoza, a sibling duo who had been on strike at Monson, said the company had addressed the worker concerns about cleaning, social distancing and safety. Workers will continue to negotiate for wage increases while working.

“The representative came out and gave a few words and everybody was really happy,” Kathy Mendoza said. “They are all happy that this is over.”

Adrian Mendoza thanked everyone who supported the workers, including people he said came from Tacoma, Oregon and New York to support the strikers’ cause.

“It was not easy for us to do this, but we did it and there slowly will be progress,” he said. “It was definitely worth the fight. We are happy that our voice is finally being heard.”

For more, go to the Yakima Herald. 

Washington Farm Workers Win Increase Enforcement Action

Their strikes are now getting the attention of the state, which has stepped up enforcement protections for fruit workers in the state. 

The state has ordered fruit packers to maintain social distancing, and for employers to provide PPE equipment and put plastic barriers between workers on the assembly line. 

For more check out, The Spokesman-Review. 

Over 60,000 Healthcare Workers Have Covid

New numbers released by the CDC show that COVID rates among healthcare workers have increased dramatically.

The numbers show a dramatic spike from the last time they were released on April 17. Then, only 9,282 healthcare workers tested positive for COVID. Now, at least 62,000 have tested positive for COVID. That’s an increase of almost 600 percent. This just goes to show how important it is to keep hygiene practices at their highest level, especially with workers who are in close quarters. Facilities need to keep enough stock of face masks, hand gel, disposable gloves (, for example, so they are protecting themselves and others.

Experts predict that the number of positive tests is likely an underestimation, according to NBC News. 

Of those who tested positive for COVID, 75% were women with 43 being the median age. 

For more check out NBC News.

More than 11,000 Poultry Workers Have COVID at Just 3 Employers

A new analysis done by the Washington Post shows that there are 11,000 positive cases of COVID among poultry workers employed just at JBS, Tyson, and Smithfield plants. 

As mass outbreaks occur at poultry plants across the United States, many poultry workers say they are being stigmatized among friends and neighbors. 

From HuffPost’s Dave Jamieson

The hair salon SmartCuts reopened its doors in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, on Memorial Day weekend after a long closure due to the coronavirus.

But not every customer was welcome to hop in a chair like old times.

A sign posted on the shop window explained: “Due to the number of Tyson employees who have tested positive for Covid-19, and given the close contact experienced during our services, we are unable to serve Tyson employees. We sincerely apologize for this decision, and we ask for your understanding.”

The local Tyson poultry processing plant is one of the largest employers in the area. Like other poultry, beef and pork facilities around the country, it has become a hotbed for the coronavirus ― with 570 workers recently testing positive out of around 2,200.

When a friend of hers sent Amy McGinty a photo of the SmartCuts sign, she was outraged. The 13-year Tyson employee said people look at her and her colleagues “like a disease.”

“They’re getting our food, but they won’t service us,” McGinty told HuffPost.

For more, go to HuffPost. 

That’s all for today folks, check back in tomorrow. Keep donating so we can cover labor’s fightback against COVID.

If you have tips of stories that we should feature in our afternoon newsletter, email [email protected].

About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]

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