California fast-food restaurants have struggled to protect workers from COVID-19

California
McDonald's workers and their supporters hold signs at a rally to protest what they allege is McDonald's attempts to silence a worker who spoke out about unsafe conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, August 7, 2020 outside a McDonald's in Los Angeles. (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

McDonald’s workers and their supporters hold signs at a rally to protest what they allege is McDonald’s attempts to silence a worker who spoke out about unsafe conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, August 7, 2020 outside a McDonald’s in Los Angeles. (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

In the crowded kitchen of a McDonald’s outlet on a working-class commercial stretch of Oakland, it was as though the coronavirus didn’t exist.

Social distancing wasn’t enforced in the early weeks of the pandemic, workers at the Telegraph Avenue store claimed: As they boxed Big Macs, scooped French fries and bagged orders, they often stood shoulder to shoulder.

There weren’t enough masks, so managers told workers to improvise, offering up a box of dog diapers somebody had left at the store. Often, the outlet was so busy that workers said they had no time to wash their hands, let alone disinfect the countertops.

The outlet’s coronavirus information poster was of little help: It was printed in English, and most of the roughly 40 workers spoke Spanish.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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