Maria Ruiz, a Fight for $15 leader, has worked at McDonald for 16 years. During the start of the pandemic, Maria worked without protective equipment nor safety practices to protect her and other workers. Maria shares that her employer and health agencies didn’t care that she and other workers were not being protected, because despite complaints she didn’t see conditions improving. Instead, Maria was silenced by the McDonald’s she worked at due to taking action and using her voice to demand workplace health & safety.
“In my worksite that happened too. I would get worried about my health and would go out to stores to look for sanitizer. Because besides having to buy some for home I had to take some things to work. At my job they were not giving us masks, gloves, clorox, soap.”
“How was it possible that they could not even give us gloves, to handle food or money? We didn’t have any of that and the truth is we were really worried. I was worried. I started to feel scared about getting close to people, if someone sneezed, if someone coughed, or even sometimes due to maybe suspicion my head would hurt too.”
“I was alarmed that they were not giving us PPE and so I started to go out on actions. I organized with my coworkers and we went on strike at my job. We reported that they were not giving us PPE and other problems that we had. Like when our machines were not being provided for us. When I made those reports I was fired from work.”
Photographer Credit: Brooke Anderson Photography