Assemblers Walk Off Job Due to Coronavirus Concerns
ROMEOVILLE, IL—A group of 20 workers at an auto parts assembly plant here walked off the job April 6 and announced they will quarantine themselves after a co-worker tested positive for the coronavirus.
According to the workers, managers at the Midwest Air Tech factory had initially told them the facility was safe, even though a worker had contracted the virus. The workers demanded clear communication about health risks and asked the company to have the plant professionally cleaned and disinfected. Workers also demanded two weeks of paid time off while they self-quarantine.
After workers presented their demands, they announced “they will quarantine themselves and isolate from their families to wait the minimum of 14 days needed to see if anyone is infected,” says Jorge Mujica, strategic campaigns organizer with Arise Chicago, a worker advocacy group. “They demanded to be paid those days, because their action was prompted by the companies' willful disdain for their health.”