Employees at grocer Whole Foods are planning a "sick out" on Tuesday to protest what they see as inadequate working conditions at the Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report subsidiary amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Employees will call in sick Tuesday to demand paid leave for all workers who stay home or self-quarantine during the pandemic. Demands also include coronavirus testing for all employees and hazard pay of double the current hourly wage for employees who show up to work, Vice reported Monday.
“Covid-19 is a very real threat to the safety of our workforce and customers,” wrote Whole Worker, the national worker group that is organizing the sick out, in a statement. “We cannot wait for politicians, institutions, or our own management to step in to protect us.”
In recent weeks, Whole Foods temporarily has increased worker's hourly pay by $2 an hour, offered to provide two weeks of paid sick leave for employees who contract the disease and said that it would not penalize workers for calling out sick.
Last week, 15 state attorneys general sent a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Whole Foods CEO John Mackey demanding that Whole Foods expand its paid sick leave policies to cover employees experiencing coronavirus symptoms but who are not eligible for testing.
"By limiting paid sick leave to only those employees who have been diagnosed with Coid-19 or who have been placed into quarantine, the Companies are placing their other employees, their customers, and the public at large at significant risk of exposure to Covid-19," the letter stated.
Amazon shares were up 3% to $1,957 in trading Monday.