John Oliver devoted most of this week Last week tonight to the plight of essential workers, who bear the brunt of dangerous and dirty work during the coronavirus pandemic.
At present, one out of ten Americans are unemployed. Only a third people still employed can work remotely. And large numbers of people in “essential jobs” – ranging from grocery store clerks to fast food workers to caretakers and medical professionals – make the world go round. But many do it without a safety net.
Amazon was one of the worst offenders. The company publish announcements calling his warehouse workers and delivery men “heroes,” which Oliver pointed out is scathing propaganda.
“It’s hard to say what I like the least about it. Maybe it’s schmaltzy piano music, maybe it’s Amazon patronizing that they care about the welfare of their “ heroes, ” or maybe it’s just the fact that, out of context, Amazon’s smile logo is a quick sketch of an uncut cock. It’s probably a combination of all three, ”Oliver joked in the Sunday night episode.
Because in reality, Amazon workers across the country have organized events to draw attention to the unsafe working conditions in its warehouses, including failure to adhere to social distancing guidelines, lack of access to protective gear and hand sanitizer, and even lack of time to wash your hands properly.
Michigan warehouse workers quit their jobs last Wednesday, protesting they were risking their lives filling non-essential orders. “Dildos are not essential items,” said Mario Crippen, an Amazon employee, during the walkout, in a video that went viral. “Children’s books, yes, but dildos?” No.”
Oliver also criticized Amazon for drag his feet on providing additional government-mandated sick leave to its employees. He stressed that all essential workers should be entitled to additional paid leave as well as a bonus for working in hazardous conditions. Oliver then spoke about how untrue it is that health care is linked to employment – a fact that goes without saying for many unemployed Americans now terrified of not only contracting COVID-19, but also of itself. get into serious debt if they get sick.
As Oliver pointed out on the Sunday night show, the coronavirus pandemic has (some) politicians struggling to solve social problems that have been purifying themselves for decades, just out of sight for those privileged enough to ignore them. And shame on the conservatives who rally on the way systemic improvements made during the pandemic should not be permanent.
Positive and productive movements can come from hardship. the New OG offer It was FDR’s way of getting America back to work, fixing our parks and infrastructure, after the Great Depression. Right now, the government’s job is to help the country get through the pandemic and take care of its citizens to the best of its ability. But when the worst coronavirus is over, forward-thinking and imaginative legislation like the Green New Deal could be the way to get the country back on its feet.
Either way, Oliver is known to castigate abuse of power. He has a effective balance to stir the pot. It was powerful to see him champion essential workers on Sunday, casting a shadow over Amazon, because he’s absolutely right: these are the people the company relies on the most, they are get sick and die at a higher rate that white collar workers and right now big companies like Amazon are avidly profiting from the fact that their employees have no choice in this matter. They have to put food on the table and pay the bills, so they go to work whether their job is literally life threatening or not.