Workers at a McDonald’s in Oakland, California went on strike today in response to allegedly being ordered to wear unused dog diapers in lieu of masks. This has in effect closed the restaurant, as four coworkers and family members had recently tested positive for COVID-19. Those who tested positive include a pregnant worker, as well as family members of McDonald’s workers.
A total of 22 workers refused to come into work today at the Telegraph Avenue location. The workers are striking to demand a paid 14-day quarantine period, company-paid medical costs, a deep cleaning and sanitizing of the location, and to be provided with proper PPE among their return. These requests are not too much to ask from the multibillion-dollar corporation. The workers, when they ran out of masks, were told to either use the dog diapers or make their own masks from coffee filters. Considering that the positive COVID-19 diagnoses have all happened within the last week, dog diapers and coffee filters are unacceptable PPE for these workers.
According to The Fight for $15, workers requested the store be closed for thorough cleaning and sanitizing but were told by management that would mean the store would lose customers. This is just another instance of employers putting profits over people.
This strike comes one week after McDonald’s workers in 20 cities across the country went on strike to protest the company’s failed response to the pandemic. McDonald’s, along with many other multibillion-dollar corporations have utterly failed their workers in protecting them from this virus in the name of profits.