Around 70 employees of food distribution company Cash-Wa began striking in North Dakota on Wednesday over concerns about COVID-19.
The employees, which include drivers and warehouse workers, are members of Local Teamsters 120. They had been working under a collective bargaining agreement that ended in August, and are worried about unsafe working conditions. The distribution center in Fargo has not been following the CDC’s guidelines, according to Brian Nowak, a business agent for Teamsters.
The workers are calling for a resumption of contract talks and for the company to give proper instructions on how to handle the virus. The lack of precautions include a lack of temperature checks, sanitizing and social distancing.
Cash-Wa’s center in Fargo distributes to locations across the Midwest region, including restaurants, hospitals, stores, and schools.
North Dakota is a state with right to work laws, or laws that allow non-union members to benefit from from an organized workplace. There are thousands of active cases of COVID-19 in North Dakota. If workers are not protected, there may be food disruption.