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29 December, 2021

Fast food franchisors ask workers if they’d like a side of COVID?

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Vaccinate frontline workers at casual restaurants

Has the person serving you that hamburger been vaccinated?

Most fast food workers make minimum wage and are forced to work on unstable schedules. Taking time off to get vaccinated costs them money, but cuts the risk of infecting other workers and customers.

Forward looking firms like Starbucks and Trader Joe's help their workers get vaccinated against COVID. Many fast food franchises do not give their workers paid time off to get vaccinated or make it easier to get vaccinated at work. Why? Follow the money.

Fast food restaurants made windfall profits during the COVID pandemic, but their lobbying arm, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) works to deny workers minimum wage and paid sick leave? The NRA is a big Republican donor and is fighting President Biden's measures to get more workers vaccinated, with the help of Republicans. These firms complain that they cannot find workers but refuse to stop exploiting their workers. Sick workers are a public health hazard, bad for customers and business.

Follow the exploitation of fast food workers and dark money behind the franchisors lobbying against COVID safety measures with this relationship map. The map was created with the free Kumu app using data from the Shift Project, Popular Information, Top Franchise and Open Secrets.

Support fast food workers as they try to get vaccinated. Service sector workers are at the center of commercial life and staffed the front lines during the worst days of the Covid-19 pandemic. Understanding the barriers holding service workers back from accessing vaccines now is crucial for ensuring their protection and for securing a national recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Fast food firms should put their worker and customer safety above greed

"Companies like Trader Joes and Kroger offered small bonuses to workers who got vaccinated. Other companies like McDonald’s, Olive Garden, and Aldi offered paid time off to get the vaccine." Sick Leave. "Predicted vaccine uptake is 8 percentage points higher for those with paid sick leave available.

In May, those with paid sick leave were 15% more likely to have gotten the vaccine. As more workers became able to get the vaccine and as the workers who were most at risk or most motivated to get vaccinated have already received their shots, having paid sick leave appears to become increasingly important in a workers’ decision on whether or not to get vaccinated."

"Front-line workers took on enormous risks during the Covid-19 pandemic, even as employers recorded record profits. The Covid-19 vaccine represents an opportunity for these same workers to achieve a degree of safety on the job. Some employers took steps to encourage and facilitate vaccinations for their workers.' - Shift

In May, those with paid sick leave were 15% more likely to have gotten the vaccine. As more workers became able to get the vaccine and as the workers who were most at risk or most motivated to get vaccinated have already received their shots, having paid sick leave appears to become increasingly important in a workers’ decision on whether or not to get vaccinated."

Employer support for vaccinations. Service sector workers are at the center of commercial life and staffed the front lines during the worst days of the Covid-19 pandemic. Understanding the barriers holding service workers back from accessing vaccines now is crucial for ensuring their protection and for securing a national recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Childcare

"Working parents must arrange some type of care for their young children when they are away at work. For parents with unstable and unpredictable work schedules, the logistics of arranging care can be complex.

Parents who balance work in the retail and food service sector with parenting young children from infants to nine years of age. **Results demonstrate that unstable and unpredictable work schedules have consequences for children’s care arrangements. Parents’ exposure to on-call work and last-minute shift changes are associated with more numerous care arrangements, with a reliance on informal care arrangements, with the use of siblings to provide care, and with young children being left alone without adult supervision. This has consequences for children’s development and safety and to contribute to the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage." - Oxford Academic

Unstable work schedules

"Many Americans are working, but poor. Along with low wages and few benefits, the working poor frequently find themselves up against erratic work schedules, with hours and shifts that change day-to-day and week-to-week with little advance notice. Particularly in the food-service and retail sectors, which employ 17% of American workers, such unstable and unpredictable work schedules are widespread."

"Black workers are more likely to face more unstable schedules. Unstable schedules can make it more difficult for workers to take time off when needed and can increase workers’ fears of retaliation or lost pay from taking time off. These concerns may present greater barriers to vaccination for Black workers." - Shift

Exploiting the poor

Low quality work schedules for fast food workers hinders vaccinations.

Racism at food and retail firms

Racism in work schedules at fast food outlets.

TakeAway: Companies complain they cannot find workers. Is it any surprise without paying a living wage, unpredictable work schedules and no sick pay? Workers should demand better.

Deepak
DemLabs

Link to map

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