Farmworkers in Coachella are the first in the nation to receive “hero pay.” There are hundreds of thousands of farmworkers in California and most are undocumented. Their work throughout the pandemic has kept food on the table for people across the country.
The city of Coachella extended “hero pay” to farmworkers
It is the first city in the nation to extend “hero pay” to farmworkers. According to the LA Times, 8,000 farmworkers live in the Coachella Valley and the ordinance goes into effect immediately. The ordinance gives employees an additional $4 an hour in pay for at least four months.
“We know that COVID has been more prominent in these agricultural communities, and if you look at the mortality rates, a lot of farmworkers have died,” Mayor Steven Hernandez told the LA Times. “You can see the devastation.”
Coachella is also going above and beyond to vaccinate the farmworkers as well.
A UC San Francisco study showed that farmworkers and restaurant workers are at a much higher risk of Covid because of the work they do. As such, the city of Coachella also decided to lead the nation is making sure that the farmworker community is signed up for vaccinations as they become available.
Governor Gavin Newsom highlighted the need to vaccinate farmworkers because of their vulnerability to the virus. Compounding on the issue is that Latinos tend to live in multi-generational houses and work other essential jobs. The risk of spreading the virus to vulnerable people is high within the community and part of the reason the city is rushing to vaccinate farmworkers.
“The heroes we talk about in this pandemic are not just our nurses and doctors, not just our frontline employees … (but also) our grocery store workers, our restaurant workers and our farmworkers,” Gov. Newsom said at a press conference.
People are celebrating Coachella for doing what they can to protect farmworkers.
Farmworkers have been crucial in making sure that grocery stores have been stocked with produce throughout the pandemic. The work done by farmworkers has made life possible for people during one of the hardest and darkest moments in the world. As the nation sheltered in place during the outbreak of Covid, farmworkers joined the ranks of essential workers that kept the economy and life moving.
Coachella’s ordinance comes at a moment when Kroger, a major corporation, shut down locations instead of giving employees “hero pay.”
Cities and states are passing ordinances to increase the pay for certain essential and frontline workers for their bravery. Kroger, which earned more than $121 billion dollars in 2020, chose to close locations rather than pay employees hazard pay for working through a pandemic.
“When large corporations make record profits and double their earnings – they need to share that success with those providing the labor. Period,” Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia tweeted about Kroger, which owns Food 4 Less and Ralph’s among other brands.
Despite their status as essential workers, retail employees have faced unbelievable amounts of pressure and abuse from the customers they serve. From facing indignant customers who refuse to wear masks to those who attempt to demean them for their work, it’s entirely safe to say that retail employees do not get paid enough for the jobs that they do.
A recent post on Reddit underlines this truth in some pretty shocking ways.
Check out the comments below.
“Low paid, long hours, usually very little control of your hours, working weekends and holidays and being forced to put up with a lot of abuse every day and not often too many avenues for promotion. I’m not shocked tbh.”- Foreign-Complaint130
“The worst part when I worked retail was the combination of “very little control of your hours” and the most fucking erratic schedule in the world. Not consistent day-to-day, week-to-week, or month-to-month. Some days working 2 hours, others working 12. Some weeks you only get 3 days, other times you work for 3 weeks straight without a day off. Sometimes a manager would straight up forget to schedule you and that’s a whole week of pay gone.”- ledivin
“The shitty “performance metrics” created by those firms to “optimize” the workplace efficiency make it million times worse. corporate don’t have time to go over those numbers, so they just look at the graph and summary; regional managers dont want the graph to reflect bad performance, so they punish the local managers for dips in the metrics (bad reviews, lower q-to-q number), so the local managers punish the workers if any customer ever complained. overtime it created the vicious cycle and allowed bad customers to face zero consequences, enabling their abusive behaviors. those managers get away with such tactics because there is very limited workplace protection and there are always people who are desperate for work, so they don’t care about the turnovers.”- seimungbing
“Don’t forget having to deal with people coming in very last minute when you’ve been at work all damn day and just want to go home. I swear, people who do that shit are literal scum of the earth.”- tsalyers12
“The worst part about it is people will show up on holidays and make remarks like:
“wow they make you guys work on x holiday?”
And I always responded with “No, you make me work on x holiday.”
They’d probably give me the day off if people weren’t literally trying to spend money at a big box store on a holiday, so I have an unnatural hatred for people who think they should just run to the store on any major holiday.”- doomsdaymelody
“Not only that it’s now a prime target for shooting rampages. I have to watch the same video of “what to do in case of an active shooter” every so often. Each time I just think I don’t get paid enough for this shit.”-
“I lost a friend that way. He was working long hours, and was already depressed. Then in the first months of the pandemic, people were particularly rude and abusive and his managers wouldn’t do anything and just overwork him. He was often yelled at by customers for things beyond his control.”- Asleep_Koala
“I’ve never felt worse as a human being than working in customer service.
Being knowledgeable about the product and a willingness to help. Then getting constantly shit on by customers who’d turn me in to management then being forced to defend myself week in and week out for years..”-LoveIsOnTheWayOut
“I saved this guy $10 on an item by letting him know about an online coupon and did everything for him because he was older and didn’t understand tech much. After the transaction he counts his change and tells me I shorted him a dime. I apologized and gave him his dime. Before he leaves he tells me I should go back to school to learn how to count…”- Rabblerouser6
“I emphasize (meant to put empathize) with this. My “school in underwear“ nightmare is me serving tables or working retail again. I left those years behind long ago, but I still get bad dreams about those times.
“I was very fortunate in my time in retail to only get three proper nutters.
I worked in the furniture department at Babies ‘R Us and a lady came in and asked if she brought in a sample of the furniture, could I identify it, match and and replace it?
I said I couldn’t, but I’d make an attempt to find it if it existed, but not to get her hopes up too much because we had a selection that rotated out pretty actively.
She seemed to think that was agreeable and then brought in an actual chip of wood (not a picture or a swatch) that was almost genuinely orange. However orange you could be without being painted that way.
All we had at the time was white, whitewash, a few brownish things and a reddish “cherry” brown. Nothing on the floor, so I looked through the special order catalog; nada.
She lost her mind and started swearing at me and called me deceitful and all kinds of other things.
The yelling attracted the attention of the assistant manager who stood there for about three seconds, long enough to go “Ah, this woman is batshit” and give me a sideways glance before saying, “____, I believe I can help this customer, can you do me a favor and go check on the Baby Italia stock in receiving?”
That wasn’t even specific enough to be actionable but I caught the hint, apologized to the woman for the misunderstanding and left.
Come to find out the chip wasn’t from baby furniture and wasn’t from our store. Amazingly, they actually found the thing based on other pieces she brought in which were marked, and found out it was from an old nightstand she bought in the ’70s (explains the orange).
That’s the burnout part for me. Not helping, not the confusion, not that the person has a genuine concern, but that they double-down on bad reactions unnecessarily while contributing nothing, and expect to not only be seen as reasonable, but that you’re a space alien for daring to deal with it in a professional manner based on your existing level of knowledge and training.
Hell, my department manager was like that. She never said a word to me, then brought me in to talk with both the manager and assistant manager, and complained my product fluency was lacking. At one point I said, “I wish you would have come to me first and let me know. I saw ____ the other day had a sash and a guidebook to learn about all the kinds of products, so I’ve felt kind of helpless, and when I asked you before about the best way to study up you said it was all by osmosis and experience.”
The managers cut things off right there because the first time I was finding out meant that there time was being wasted. Which meant she got pissed at me for being outed and claimed up and down she’d given me training materials before despite there being no evidence besides an assumption in her memory.”- credit_counselor
“I’ll say it every time, but when I was in retail (and this was many years ago) I could deal with the rude customers, what I couldn’t deal with was managers who forced you to enforce rules just so they could come skipping out of their office to say, “Oh we can do that for you!” and happily bend the rules so you could stand there looking like a jackass. Zero patience for that bullshit.”- shanthology
“Yeah, that part sucks. I got into this habit of being straight up with people about it.
“Unfortunately, I’ve been instructed by my manager that I can’t do that for you. But if you’re okay waiting, I can try and ask my head cashier or manager to help you.”
Sometimes they’d take me up on it, but there were plenty of times they didn’t. But I had a lot of good experiences because I figured out who to ask about what.” – YellowHammerDown
“This is the exact kind of company I’m working for right now. We have ridiculously strict policies about our products, to the point where I’m arguing with people more than not. Then I have to call my superior and they tell me to just make the customer happy. The fuck is the point of the policies if I’m just going to let things slide anyways????”- brahmen_noodle
“I still dread weekdays and have thought about quitting. Trouble is, my work experience lends toward interest from companies who need customer service workers. I feel completely stuck in a no-win scenario.
Try executive support, at least you’ll get paid well – even if you still have to deal with people who act like children, at least your customers have the money to go with the inflated sense of self worth.”- SpaceChevalier
“An old employer did this to me. I got a promotion doing back office work, and then one day they sent me back into Customer Service, because someone else went on maternity leave.
I was angry, depressed, and absolutely hated it. I made several complaints but they didn’t amount to anything. I applied for different jobs but didn’t hear anything.
I finally conceded I was stuck in life, and even when I would get moved back to my office job, there was no guarantee this wouldn’t happen again. So I went back to school. I spent 4 years working full time and being a full time student. I knew I needed a better resume (especially being an older college student), so I volunteered for everything at this crappy job. I become an invaluable team member. I was even given an award (lol) for being such a committed employee at an annual dinner.
And then I quit. My resume had a bunch of good stuff on it, I had a degree, and had lined up a new job with all these skills I had been working on.
The look my boss had on their face was priceless. They tried to counter offer but the new job was literally double what I was making and even more than my boss was paid so that wasn’t going to happen.
I’m not saying that path works for everyone, and it was a huge time commitment, but I was able to leverage all those awful customer service experiences for something positive. I hope you can do the same!”- Hambushed
“My first job as a teen was telemarketing. Awful idea. I did that for about 3 years.
I started developing high anxiety from the job but didn’t realize it. I ended up walking out twice because I just couldn’t do the job anymore. I was good at it, but I couldn’t bare the thought of being yelled at anymore.
A few years later I’m doing tech support because I want a career in the tech field. Nearly a year later I walk out of that job because I just couldn’t do it. I was good at doing the job, but I couldn’t bare the thought of being yelled at anymore.
Four years ago I try to do phone work again for a corporate ISP handling business internet, and I couldn’t last even a year. I’m almost begging my supervisors to let me train others on occasion because my anxiety is fucked whenever I’m on the phones. The supervisors didn’t give a single shit. So I started calling out often to avoid the anxiety. I was also going through a lot in my personal life and nearly committed suicide because it was all too much. The thought of ending my life seemed amazing compared to facing life for another day.
I walked out of that job ranked in the top 20 technicians out of 160 for 3 consecutive months after the supervisors gave zero shits about my performance. So I was good at the job, I just couldn’t bare being yelled at anymore.”- ilikethemaymays
“I’ve really, really been forcing myself to show patience during all of this. Part of that is the way I was raised, part of that was the decade-plus I spent in low level customer service jobs. I know how much these kinds of jobs suck under normal circumstances, and now you have idiots who won’t comply with mask orders and get upset when their favorite brand of Charmin is out of stock. Personally, I’ve noticed an increase in mistakes and even some rude behavior from people I interact with, but every time I’ve let it go. People under enormous stress all the time aren’t going to be at their best, the rest of us have to understand that. It’s not the guy running the register or the girl answering the phone who is at fault if things aren’t perfect.”- cugamer
We’ve known since the start of quarantine that the coronavirus poses extreme risks to those who catch it. But when it comes to those with respiratory diseases and other severe and chronic conditions, the virus caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2 can be even more unforgiving. Now, new studies are revealing that pregnant women infected with the disease are also more likely to become severely ill and die from Covid-19 than researchers might have suspected.
Still, while the results from two major COVID-19 vaccine trials have inspired some hope, researchers are still unsure as to how the new studies will affect pregnant people.
Some experts weighing in on the current vaccines say that pregnant women or nursing moms who want the COVID-19 vaccine should get one.
According to the Daily Mail, researchers found that low-income African-Americans and Latinos were up to three times more likely than high-income white men to suffer job loss, experience food insecurity, and “default on a rent or mortgage.”
In the study, which was published by JAMA Network Open, a team combed through data taken from one million people that participated in the US 2020 Household Pulse Survey. The surveys were taken between April 23 and July 21 to people across all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. “Researchers asked if volunteers had experienced any of the following due to the coronavirus pandemic,” the Daily Mail notes, including “unemployment; food insufficiency; mental health problems; no medical care received for health problems; default on last month’s rent or mortgage; and class cancellations with no distance learning.”
“Pregnant women who opt not to receive the vaccine should be supported in that decision as well, a practice advisory from ACOG recommends,” WebMD shared in an article. “In addition, women do not need to avoid getting pregnant after receiving Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, according to the CDC. The FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the vaccine on Dec. 11.”
After Pfizer and Moderna, revealed that they might have developed two promising high-profile vaccine candidates there’s still quite a bit of some uncertainty.
On December 11, the FDA said that they will allow pregnant and lactating women to access the vaccine. This is despite the fact that the vaccinehas hasn’t been tested on pregnant woman and remains unavailable for anyone under 16.
In an interview with Vogue, experts weighed in on why the clinical trials for major COVID-19 vaccines haven’t included pregnant people. According to the interview, “Historically, pregnant and lactating women have been excluded from clinical and vaccine trials because of safety concerns for the mother and child. But that exclusion can pose its own risks, a point that’s been repeatedly raised by the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and various medical professionals. “
According to USA Today, “Both companies have indicated they will seek a federal emergency-use authorization, in which the government makes the drug available before having approved it, based on the strength of early results. That means vaccines could be available to the general public by next spring… But since the vaccine trials have thus far excluded people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s unclear when the immunizations would be safely available for them.”
Reports released earlier over the summer, by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, underlined that pregnant women with COVID-19 are at risk for premature delivery.
According to Hub, “A late September Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report article from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that among nearly 600 pregnant women in 13 states hospitalized with COVID-19 from March 1 through August 22, 16% were admitted to an intensive care unit, 8% were put on mechanical ventilation, and 1% died.”
In a recent report bioethicist Ruth Faden, who is reportedly the founder of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics says that the issue of the distribution of vaccines to women is sensitive.
“As more and more vaccine candidates progress to later-stage trials, we want to make sure that pregnant women have fair opportunities to participate in studies that may benefit them and their babies and also that pregnant women, as a group, have a fair opportunity to benefit from vaccines when they are authorized for use outside of trials,” says Faden, a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management. “We want to make sure that their interests are taken into account from the outset so that we can generate the best possible evidence about safe and appropriate use of vaccines in pregnancy.”
The CDC’s latest findings reveal that that pregnant women infected by coronavirus are more likely to need intensive care.
While overall risk of severe illness or death is still considered low, the CDC says that pregnant women with coronavirus are at an increase risk for needing intensive care including ventilation, heart and lung support than women are not pregnant and infected by the virus. In a separate report published by the CDC researchers discovered an increase in the rate of premature birth just before the 37 weeks of pregnancy. The results found that 12.9% of women with coronavirus gave birth early compared to 10.2% who tested negative for the virus.
According to CNN, researchers behind the recent CDC studies reviewed data collected from 461,825 women (ages of 15 and 44) who tested positive for Covid-19 in the time between January 22 and October 3. The studies also only focused on those who experienced coronavirus symptoms.
“The team adjusted for outside factors and found that pregnant women were more likely to need intensive care, with 10.5 per 1,000 pregnant women admitted to the ICU, compared to 3.9 per 1,000 women who aren’t pregnant,” CNN explained about the report. “Pregnant women were 3 times more likely to need help breathing with invasive ventilation than women who aren’t pregnant. Similarly, they were at greater risk of requiring lung and heart support with oxygenation. They were also more likely to die, with 1.5 deaths per 1,000 pregnant women, compared to 1.2 per 1,000 women who aren’t pregnant.”
While the risks pregnant women face are low, researchers say that they must still take precautions.
This is particularly important as the winter months rise and coronavirus cases increase. “Less than 1% of pregnant women with Covid are admitted to an intensive care unit,” Jamieson told CNN. “However, they are at increased risk when you compare them to their non-pregnant counterparts.”
According to CNN, pregnant women should avoid gatherings, wear masks, and practice social distancing. “We’re learning more about how people are infected, and there is some new information that household contacts — so, people who are in your house — may be a source of infection,” Jamieson explained. “It’s not unreasonable, if a person has a lot of exposure at work, for instance, for that person to stay separated from the rest of their family or to protect the rest of their family by wearing a mask or even separating physically in the house.”