Non-union cooks and cashiers at restaurants in Los Angeles and across California planned to walk off their jobs Thursday to demand that management do more to keep workers safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
The protest was inspired by a series of strikes that began Sunday at a McDonald's in Los Angeles, where a worker tested positive for COVID-19. That spurred similar action at a McDonald's in San Jose, where employees have been on strike since Monday.
Workers from some of the restaurants staged a "socially distant drive-through strike line" at the McDonald's at 7123 Crenshaw Blvd. in Los Angeles. The protesters left the parking lot early Friday, planning to move on to another location on what was a rainy morning throughout LA.
Bartolome Perez, who has been on strike since Sunday at a McDonald's in LA, said the company bottom line "isn't the only thing that's essential."
McDonald's responded late Monday to the protests with a vow to make "important changes" in how its restaurants address health and safety during the coronavirus crisis. That includes "starting wellness checks, increased cleanings and additional social distancing and hand-washing guidelines," according to spokeswoman Lindsay Rainey.
McDonald's also plans to send non-medical grade masks to the areas of greatest need and will be making gloves available to crew members.