Latest COVID-19 Coverage from Labor Notes

Here is the latest reporting and analysis from Labor Notes on the COVID-19 pandemic. For organizing resources and more, click here. Want help organizing your workplace to respond to the pandemic? Email us at organize[at]labornotes[dot]org.

On July 15 the grocery chain Kroger announced that starting July 22 its stores would begin requiring mask coverings for all shoppers in its stores. Walmart had announced a similar measure earlier that day.

Shop stewards at the Strand, a prominent New York City bookstore, are denouncing owner Nancy Bass-Wyden for accepting federal loans but failing to keep workers on the payroll.

Relief—that’s what Niki Gurgen, a personal support worker (PSW) at the Hillcrest Reactivation Centre rehabilitation hospital in Toronto felt when she heard about the $4 per hour “pandemic premium” the Ontario government was providing to health care and other essential workers.

A woman holds a sign that says "Are you serious?", while her son holds a sign reading "Safe schools or no school."

Donald Trump has launched an all-out war to reopen schools across the country this fall. Educators are standing up to resist plans that would put our students, their families, or our co-workers in danger.

Detroit-area teachers mounted a five-stop car caravan today, determined to tell administrators “Safe School or No School!”

Three women hold signs saying "Food Not Rent" and "Cancel Rent" in English and Spanish.

The uprising for Black Lives has opened new possibilities for organizing. But besides fighting police brutality, unions and worker organizations can address racial injustice by organizing around the issues of workers' everyday lives.

Although COVID-19 is far from under control and reopening of the economy is stumbling, the airwaves are filled with people telling us how we should be thinking about economic recovery.

Far from a recovery, though, we are facing the worst economic crisis of a generation. The voice of workers and their unions has never been more important, because without us, we have a pretty good idea what’s going happen.

masked worker in front of mcdonald's holds big orange sign: "MCDONALD'S CLOSED, COVID HEALTH HAZARD, COMMUNITY SUPPORTS WORKERS STRIKE FOR HEALTH, SAFETY AND DIGNITY"

A strike by 33 workers at a McDonald’s in North Oakland has shut down the store since May 26. Twelve workers there have tested positive for COVID-19, and so have eight of their family members, including a 10-month-old baby. This is one of the longest recorded strikes ever by McDonald's workers.

In a matter of days in mid-March, educators were expected to move classes online, work from home, and manage their own fear and uncertainty—all while worried for students whom they suddenly couldn’t see, talk to, or reassure.

Even veteran organizers were at a loss for what steps to take, except to focus on the immediate problems. How do we move classes online? Will students who depend on school for meals have enough to eat? What about the students with no internet?

Scene from 1940 adaptation of Grapes of Wrath picturing family assembled

With unemployment now reaching levels not seen since the 1930s, should you really want to spend a few hours immersed in the hardships endured by working people during the first Great Depression? Yes.

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