Millions ask for unemployment assistance as workers plan walkout

Employees from some of the nation's online retail and foodservice companies plan to call in sick or walk out during their lunch breaks to demand more safety precautions and hazard pay.
3:13 | 05/01/20

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Transcript for Millions ask for unemployment assistance as workers plan walkout
Well this, morning marks the first of the month which means rent and mortgage payments are due. A struggle for the more than 30 million Americans who have now filed for unemployment in this country and this morning some employees at companies like Amazon and target are set to strike over working conditions there. Matt Gutman is in Los Angeles with more on all of this. Good morning, Matt. Reporter: Hey, good morning, Amy. We're being told today's action is going to be the biggest since the pandemic began. It's being branded ee sense workers day and essentially what you'll see is workers from the companies that you just mentioned, either calling in sick or just walking off the job during lunch breaks. Now, what they're demand something more safety precautions, but also hazard pay. Storefronts shuttered by the steel Gates and going out of business signs like these seemingly popping up everywhere. About 30 million people have filed for unemployment since March 21st. More than the entire population of Texas. People unable to afford their mortgages and rent and those that do have jobs increasingly concerned about showing up. Some protesting for better working conditions, sick leave and compensation during the pandemic and today marking may day, employees from some of the nation's busiest companies including Amazon, target, instacart planning to walk out. Demands differ but they all say they want better safety precautions. Concerned that shutdowns could trigger food shortages in America, the trump administration giving meatpacking plants wide latitude to re-open declaring them critical infrastructure. The good news today, I think, we're having these plants prepare to open in day, not weeks. Some maybe by the end of this Reporter: But some workers contend it's not safe enough. In Arkansas police on Thursday escorting petitioning workers off the property at this poultry plant, that as we get our first glimpse inside a meatpacking plant. Workers crowded shoulder to shoulder at a Georgia's poultry plant in Arkansas packed in those hallway, masks down with apparently no place inside to socially distance. And these images at a advertisening plant cafeteria in Arkansas in early April. Workers packed into booths, Tyson says it has added these dividers since that video was taken. And labor organizers tell us while the meat may be safe at these plant, the workers aren't. Waiting to see when are they going to get sick. If they get sick they're going to die. If we don't protect them right we'll see a food crisis, a health crisis, an economic crisis. Reporter: Now, president trump's executive order basically allows these plants to re-open if they can provide written documentation they're following osha and CDC guidelines but without health inspectors on site, labor activists say that this is essentially allowing these plants to police themselves, guys. Boy, such a dangerous situation, thanks very much. We turn to new reports about

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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