Hundreds of Los Angele-area fast food workers are protesting outside a Hyde Park neighborhood McDonald’s Thursday to demand better safety measures and pay amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Workers scheduled a drive-thru strike line to form at 7 a.m., incorporating social distancing practices, at the McDonalds located at 7123 Crenshaw Boulevard, a news release from organizers stated.
Thursday’s strike was inspired by a similar event held at a different McDonald’s location Sunday, after a worker tested positive for COVID-19.
The owner of that McDonald’s, located in the 2800 block of Crenshaw Boulevard, confirmed Thursday that two workers have now tested positive for the virus.
Video from Sunday’s strike showed dozens of protesters inside their vehicles driving around the restaurant, repeatedly honking their horns.
“We don’t want to die and we don’t want anyone in our families to die because McDonald’s is putting its profits ahead of our safety,” Bartolome Perez, who has been on strike since Sunday, said in the news release.
The employees are calling for McDonald’s to provide masks, gloves, soap and $3 per hour hazard pay in addition to two weeks’ paid quarantine time for workers exposed to COVID-19.
McDonald’s workers will be joined Thursday by employees from Burger King, Taco Bell, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Subway, Popeye’s, El Pollo Loco and WaBa Grill, according to the news release.
A second fast-food workers’ strike will also be taking place in the Bay Area at 9 a.m., organizers said.
The owner of the McDonald’s where two workers have tested positive for COVID-19 issued a statement Thursday.
“As soon as we were notified of each of these confirmed cases, we immediately closed the restaurant to thoroughly deep clean the restaurant and notify local health authorities. At the same time, we identified and reached out to all restaurant staff who had been in close contact with the employee who contracted the virus. These employees have been asked to self-quarantine for 14 days to ensure they remain healthy before returning to work and are being paid while they are away from the restaurant,” a portion of the statement read.
The company has said in prior statements that they have made gloves available to employees, are installing protective barriers at the drive-thru registers and that workers can receive emergency paid leave.