UPDATE 30 April 2020:
- Most delivery companies are now offering 14 days’ paid sick leave IF drivers test positive for coronavirus or are placed in quarantine. But getting hold of a doctor’s note during a health crisis is not easy, and reliable tests are scarce. As a result, many workers can’t even access sick pay.
- Amazon is now offering five hours pay per shift for those sent home with a high temperature in the US. But worker-led groups say it’s still not complying with pandemic guidelines by not cleaning infected warehouses. These company announcements are an encouraging sign -- proof that if we keep up the pressure, we can get them to go even further.
Right now, as the coronavirus escalates, workers at Amazon, Deliveroo, Uber and Lyft are under pressure to deliver food and essentials to nations in lockdown.
But their vital work exposes them to far greater risk than many of us face. And what’s worse -- many of them are forced to work when they’re sick because they can’t access proper sick pay!
Companies like Uber and Amazon are telling their employees, “if you feel sick, stay home.” But that’s not a choice many can't afford to make if it means skipping a paycheck.
For years, gig-economy CEOs have been raking in profits off the backs of the people who do the real work for their company -- while refusing to grant them even the most basic rights. And this burden falls disproportionately on people of color who make up a large proportion of the ‘essential’ workforce.
The good news: right now, we have a chance to force change in this money-hungry industry.
If enough of us hold companies accountable for putting lives at risk, they’ll buckle under our pressure and be forced to implement policies that will make all their workers’ lives better.
Now more than ever, we need to make sure that we are all looking out for each other.
Amazon, Deliveroo, Uber, Lyft and all companies: don't make people work sick! Give them paid sick leave now.
The Verge. 7 March 2020.
Time. 4 March 2020.
CNN. 3 March 2020.
The Guardian. 3 March 2020.