How have food strikes impacted communities?

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(Photo/Spencer Platt)

Arthur Zhu, Staff Writer

With the recent pandemic, our daily routine has been completely sidelined and flipped upside-down. Life outside has been frozen, while we are all at home, social-distancing and learning how to live in such an incredibly odd time. Yet, as bored as we may be, there are many people out there who do not have the privilege of self-isolation. The government has forced hundreds of professions and businesses to stop person to person interaction, and as a result, many industries have suffered immensely. Within a long list of what the government has deemed “essential services,” from schools to healthcare, is also food and agriculture. Workers at groceries, pharmacies, convenience stores, and restaurants must still attend their daily jobs or lose their income. 

This has, consequently, placed a spotlight on those who deliver and supply food. Companies like Amazon and Instacart are at the very frontline of this service, calling their workers “heroes” in the face of the current situation. However, it is clear many of these workers are unhappy with the simple lip service, as a significant number have walked off their jobs, demanding better protection and pay as they provide for those who have the privilege to isolate against the coronavirus with food and necessary items.

The workers’ demands are simple; many want more paid sick leave (which is currently only offered to those who are infected), disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and better wages. Amazon, for instance, has not provided their workers with adequate protective gear and disinfectant. These large corporations are failing to protect and meet the basic needs of their own workers which they consider “family”. With the additional pressure and fear of contracting the coronavirus, the need for change is even more important. 

This food delivery strike seems extremely distant from the PDS community. However, like all issues, this begs the question: how is this affecting us? Although it may not feel as if the food delivery strike is directly changing our way of life more than everything else already has, we should still consider the current situations of those working at the frontlines of this issue. If anything, we should be able to see even more clearly how awful the situation is for many exploited working class people. 

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