May Day Strikes: Essential workers to walk off jobs in mass protest, others rally against stay-at-home orders

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Essential workers are set to strike in the Bay Area, nationwide, and across the world on Friday, May 1 to rally for safer working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Strikes protesting the stay-at-home orders are also planned by other groups.

According to organizers, workers at Amazon, Whole Foods, InstaCart, FedEx, Target, and other companies will walk off the job or call out sick Friday, which is also International Workers’ Day.

Workers will strike to demand hazard pay, sick leave, unpaid time off work, more PPE and cleaning supplies.

“For these reasons, we are engaging in a mass sickout and exercising our right to refuse unsafe work conditions,” according to a statement by Whole Foods workers.

Here are the protests scheduled across the Bay Area as well as Santa Cruz:

San Francisco May Day Rally w/ Black Workers United (Car Rally) Time: noonWhere: San Francisco City Hall (cars meet at 11:15 AM at Third Baptist Church out front)Organizer: Black Workers United https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2020/04/21/18832543.php

San Francisco May Day Counter Protest Against “Reopen America” Rallies
Time: 11:30 AM – 1 PMWhere: Van Ness Ave. across from SF City Hall between Grove and McAllister StreetsOrganizers: Refuse Fascism Bay Area & Raging Grannies Action League
This event will be a street protest that follows social distancing & health safety protocols w/ masks and gloves
https://www.facebook.com/events/754551202052921/

San Francisco May Day Car Caravan: Cancel Rent, Homes for All, Debt Free Future Time: 10 a.m. to noon Where: Pier 50, San Francisco, California 94158Organizers: Housing Rights Committee of SF and others
https://www.facebook.com/events/247175096485928/

May Day in the Bay: Worker & Community Car Caravan in Oakland
Time: 10 AM – 2 PM
Where: SSA Berth 59 @ SSA Terminal, 1717 Middle Harbor Rd, Oakland, CA 94607Organizer: The Oakland May Day Coalition
(Also being joined by UC Berkeley workers & students)
https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2020/04/23/18832607.php

Watsonville: International Workers’ Day Action (Car Caravan Rally)
Time: 11:00 AM – noonWhere: Watsonville Plaza, 350 Main St, Watsonville
Organizers: Regeneration-Pájaro Valley Climate Action and others
https://www.facebook.com/events/2928610780507387/

Santa Cruz May Day Car and Bike Caravan
Time: noon – 4:30 PM
Where: Oakes College, Santa Cruz, CaliforniaOrganizer: UC Student Workers UAW 2865 Santa Cruz https://www.facebook.com/events/229972214940621/

Additionally, demonstrations are planned in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and other cities. Protesters are asking consumers not to cross picket lines or use those companies’ services for the day in solidarity.

In response to planned protests by its workers, Amazon said in a statement: “While we respect people’s right to express themselves, we object to the irresponsible actions of labor groups in spreading misinformation and making false claims about Amazon during this unprecedented health and economic crisis. We have gone to extreme measures to understand and address this pandemic.”

Similarly, “MAGA May Day” car rallies by supporters of President Donald Trump will be protesting pandemic lockdown measures in locations including Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City.

“However, America cannot destroy the lives and dreams of the majority to protect a few. The cure cannot be more dangerous than the disease. We risk losing who we are as a nation by completely shutting down the country and the economy,” said a statement on the MAGA May Day website.

Majority of the US has been under shelter-in-place orders since mid-March.

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