Today in Crappy Bosses

First, we have Charter Communications, who are sending their techs into people’s homes with no protective gear.

No gloves, no masks, no hand sanitizer, and no hazard pay, but they are giving their installer $25.00 restaurant gift cards, which sounds good until you realize that the restaurants are mostly closed:

Spectrum technicians connecting cable and internet for customers during the coronavirus outbreak will receive a $25 gift card for a local restaurant as a “token of our appreciation” from management, after staff called for hazard pay and protective equipment.

Spectrum employees have been speaking out against the company’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic for several days now, begging to be allowed to work from home if their jobs allow it and calling for safety measures to be implemented for those in the field.

Field technicians told BuzzFeed News on Monday night they feared going into people’s homes during the pandemic to fix their internet and cable without gloves, a mask, or hand sanitizer in case they got sick or carried the virus to other customers or loved ones.


“It’s quite literally the least they could do,” the North Carolina tech said, pointing out that to even use a gift card from a local restaurant would likely involve having close contact with restaurant staff or drivers.

[Executive vice president of field operations Tom] Adams also noted Spectrum had secured access to hand sanitizer and gloves, which would be available for workers to use “in the next few weeks.”

(emphasis mine)
That’s very white of you, Tom.

And then there is Instacart, which has also refused gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, and hazard pay, or at least it did, until its employees threatened a massive walkout.

Surprise, it was too little, too late:

“They are putting us directly in harm’s way while profiting greatly. We cannot let this be considered normal.”

The “Instacart Shoppers and Gig Workers Collective,” representing some 175,000 laborers for Instacart, plan to strike on Monday, March 30.

Organizers of the labor protest say the grocery delivery giant is denying gig workers (“shoppers”) basic coronavirus pandemic protections such as gloves, soap, hand sanitizer, and pay for those with pre-existing health issues that place them at high risk for COVID-19.

Read their demands at Here’s an excerpt:

On Monday, March 30, Shoppers will walk off of our jobs, and will not return to work until our demands are met. We demand that Instacart meet the following conditions:

  • Safety precautions at no cost to workers — PPE (at minimum hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes/sprays and soap).
  • Hazard pay — an extra $5 per order and defaulting the in-app tip amount to at least 10% of the order total.
  • An extension and expansion of pay for workers impacted by COVID-19 — anyone who has a doctor’s note for either a preexisting condition that’s a known risk factor or requiring a self-quarantine.
  • The deadline to qualify for these benefits must be extended beyond April 8th.

I really do hope that some increased worker protections will come out of the pandemic, but I figure that this is about as likely as a mass shooting resulting in gun control measures.

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