Almost two dozen employees at a virus-stricken McDonald’s in California walked off the job on Tuesday after they were allegedly advised to use coffee filters or dog diapers as face masks. At least four workers at the Oakland fast-food restaurant and their family members—including a 10-month-old baby—have tested positive for the coronavirus and three others are showing symptoms, the organizers of the protest said. Twenty-two workers went on strike demanding two-weeks of paid time off to self-isolate, as well as deep cleaning of the restaurant and sufficient personal protective gear.
“McDonald’s is treating us like dogs,” one employee, Delia Vargas, said in a statement. “We don’t want to die for their hamburgers so we are going on strike, to protect ourselves, our families and our communities.” Michael Smith, the owner of the McDonald’s location, said that it was closed for a “deep cleaning procedure” and added that all employees will be provided paid leave and “$20,000 worth of grocery gift cards to further aid them during this difficult time.”