Bay Area Participates in Nationwide ‘Strike for Black Lives'

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Many fast food workers, Amazon drivers and health care workers in the Bay Area walked off the job Monday as part of a nationwide protest called “Strike for Black Lives.” 

Those employees joined racial justice advocates who say it’s time to end systemic racism in the workplace. 

If you check McDonald’s Twitter page, you’ll see it's filled with posts supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, but activists who briefly shut down this McDonald’s on Telegraph in Oakland say, an online campaign is not enough. 

They’re calling on big corporate companies to offer paid sick leave and boost wages to help fight racial inequality. 

“We work in fast food but we’re people too you know and we need help too,” said Patricia Garcia, McDonald’s Employee.

 She earns $15 an hour flipping burgers at a McDonald’s in San Jose. “The rent is outrageous in San Jose. It’s not enough.”

Underpaid and overworked. That is the sentiment fueling hundreds of essential workers of color who took to the streets of Oakland to take part in Monday’s “Strike for Black Lives.”  

Amazon delivery driver Adrienne Williams says the fight against police brutality is connected to the fight against racial inequality. 

“They bank on the fact that we’re too broke, scared or ignorant to fight for ourselves,” he said. 

Demonstrators marched from Mosswood Park to the McDonald’s on Telegraph Avenue. That’s the same McDonald’s that was forced to shut down last month after workers say a coronavirus outbreak sickened more than 30 people, including workers’ family members. 

The owner of that McDonald’s denied the accusations – saying he provides PPE to his workers and their health is his top priority. 

At least two McDonald’s employees walked off the job and joined the crowd of demonstrators who cheered them on. Over at Highland Hospital, dozens of frontline workers with the Alameda Health System joined the nationwide strike to call attention to the need for more PPE and more staffing.  

A spokesperson for Alameda Health System says AHS is working with the county to figure out long-term solutions to address financial challenges brought on by the pandemic.

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