Although healthcare professionals are undeniably the ones facing the brunt of this crisis at the frontlines of the fight against the pandemic, it is important that we also recognize the sacrifices of essential workers like grocery store clerks and delivery drivers.
Meghan McCain broached a hot topic that's on many of our minds during Tuesday's episode of The View. The 35-year-old discussed thoughts on the subject of essential workers like grocery store clerks and delivery drivers deserving infinite praise and adequate compensation for working during the pandemic. McCain, the daughter of the late Republican senator and former presidential candidate John McCain, admitted that contrary to her usual stance on people receiving financial handouts from the government, she believes essential workers should be paid double for there services during this devastating crisis.
Employees in critical industries deserve better treatment.— Bloomberg Opinion (@bopinion) April 2, 2020
The obvious response is to raise wages. Either that, or allow laid-off workers to collect pandemic unemployment benefits in addition to salary if they go back to work in an essential industry https://t.co/fHLc8rBLZB pic.twitter.com/ydHTOBQ7S4
According to CBS News, McCain—who is pregnant—said that she's been relying on Amazon delivery for the things she needs and that her husband goes grocery shopping once a week for the essentials. She explained that since she is high risk, it is incredibly important that she quarantine herself at home during the pandemic. "I've been reeling about this for weeks that I think anyone who is doing any kind of essential work for us right now should not only get hazard pay but should have their pay doubled," the co-host of The View said.
I haven’t been this heartbroken, anxious and hopeless since my dad died. This is not about me, but please know to everyone sacrificing so much, all the essential workers, nurses, doctors, you are heros. And to everyone else feeling this way, you are not alone. Thinking of you...— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) April 3, 2020
McCain admitted she is normally "the last person on planet Earth that ever wants the government to give any kind of financial handout to anyone." However, given how these essential workers are putting their lives and wellbeing on the line to help their communities during this crisis, her view on the matter has drastically changed. "But I think these people are putting their lives on the line, putting their families at risk, just for us to be able to get our groceries and needed packages, and whatever else," she said. "I think everyone from truck drivers to janitorial workers to anybody anywhere who is out still working in this kind of environment should absolutely be given hazard pay."
Co-host Sunny Hostin agreed with McCain, saying: "They are frontline workers at this point." Although healthcare professionals are undeniably the ones facing the brunt of this crisis at the frontlines of the fight against the pandemic, it is important that we also recognize the vital contributions and sacrifices of those who're more often than not ignored. Delivery drivers and essential store employees are putting their lives and that of their families at risk by continuing to work in these dangerous times. Thankfully, some companies are recognizing the efforts of their employees and providing extra perks for these dedicated individuals.
High risk workers in essential jobs who, for the safety of themselves and their loved ones, are unable to work or are forced to work reduced hours deserve to be paid their full wages regardless of whether they work or not.— Trader Joe’s Union (@TraderJoesUnion) April 3, 2020
For example, earlier this week, Trader Joe's announced that it will close all of its stores on Easter Sunday, April 12, "to give our incredible Crew Members a much needed day of rest." Meanwhile, Target announced new benefits for employees working during this crisis. "For weeks, our incredible front-line team members have played a crucial role as families turn to Target during the coronavirus pandemic. On top of the $300 million+ team investment and paid leave we've already committed to, we're also setting aside dedicated time for our store and distribution center team members to shop for essentials, such as food, baby products, and medicine," it said in a statement on the company website.
Trader Joe's and other grocers give employees a break on Easter https://t.co/Bo9olWP4bk— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) April 1, 2020
On the other hand, Amazon faced immense backlash from its workers who raised concerns about the company failing to take adequate measures to ensure their safety. Following the outcry and a walk-off incident on Monday, the announced that it is boosting pay by $2 an hour to a minimum of $15 an hour. It also revealed that it would raise overtime pay to be double a worker's regular rate of pay, up from the standard 1.5 rate. Responding to the company's statement that it is taking steps to help its employees, McCain said, "Taking steps sounds like PR to me."
Listen to the powerful words of this Amazon employee in New York, where workers walked off the job to demand better safety precautions in response to COVID-19 pic.twitter.com/ESUPn9eA9n— NowThis (@nowthisnews) March 31, 2020
"I mean, [Amazon founder] Jeff Bezos is one of the richest people in the world. I just don't think our country could function without our truck drivers and our Amazon workers and they're doing such an imperative job for so many Americans. I implore Jeff Bezos and whoever the CEO of Instacart is to really do the right thing right now," she added.