Essential workers demand better protections during May Day protests

Coronavirus
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NEW YORK — Essential workers across New York City marked May Day by protesting for better protections and personal protective equipment.

Health care and other essential workers are on the brink of breaking down. With agony in their eyes and their frustrations spelled out on signs, they described weeks of working in unsafe conditions.

“We were unprotected,” said one protester. “We have no face masks or cleaning supplies.”

Workers from Whole Foods, Target, Walmart and Amazon say they have been pushed from being essential workers to front-line workers without proper PPE.

Amazon, responding in a statement said, “While we respect people’s right to express themselves, we object to spreading misinformation and making false claims … We have gone to extreme measures to understand and address this pandemic.”

Across the city, from the governor’s midtown office to Times Square to the Bronx, the message is the same and demands are simple: more PPE, better paid sick leave and enhanced social distancing.

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