« Reveal

Essential Workers

2020-04-04 | 🔗

While much of America shelters in place, farmworkers, grocery store clerks and airline employees remain on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis. But what’s being done to protect them from catching and spreading the virus? 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Glad to see its noticed, not just New York around the world people are showing their gratitude for doctors and nurses, but also delivery drivers, male carriers, flight attendants, grocery store, clerks and farm labourers, the essential work who can work from home and honour, he's get sick pay. So what protections or please for workers who feel they have no choice but to stay on the job. Monica capable of our partners show. The world has been following how the pandemic is affecting farm workers the weak, Is it true? Trump declared a national emergency. She headed the California farmlands chances are strawberries, tomatoes, letters or almonds. You senior supermarket, come from this area since that day she followed the story of a tough choices some people who make sure we have food monarchy,
I had to infield, it's a small town of about twenty thousand people. It's the second of March and Two hundred and fifty people have tested positive, recovered. Ninety in California binding body on the out of town. There are all the fields I go down the street and it turns into a dirt sorcery all of the housing changes from server ban small homes too. Single room dwellings. It's like your walk into those black and white photos from the dust Bowl days, I walk up to one of these structures and it's a complex of single rooms, one after another after another, and I count twenty
in the building? Is tan, it's the same color as the dark as the earth and I saw a man answered one of the rooms when, as the authorities No stay down the nominal forego arrest. Almost bare vetoes. I accept. Ain't that I'm not shaking hands because of the virus. Nickel- slaves in rule thirteen. He's in his late twenties, he looks older thou he's worked outside all his life in tat recalling lean, be the thought of. And he tells me he works in the broccoli fields. I want to talk about. The crew no virus but Nicholas, is more concerned about the rain It rains and he can't work in it all- depends on that. Unless you stay in India, the narrowest who for media II when the tangle? What does he hosted in then withdrew from us? three children in Mexico and the money that he sends home pays for their food
utilities. Anything they need for school, their young kids, eleven, seven in four years old they see us Nicholas, makes thirteen fifteen, our he wires, most of it home to a small world village in Southern Mexico. Thousand miles away he's the sole breadwinner. You stay calm about gumbo broker and he gets work by cramming himself into the back of a silverado with half a dozen other men. It's how a lot of people get to the fields: CIA, again, controls in parallel and alone, but he says the other day. A guy work would not stop coughing, not for four days in which these guys gonna veto. Peterkin said many suspected. It was the corn iris, but they all road together anyway, capable of being said is the model, but with what can be done without them, you could own key figures. The guy coughing can't afford to stay home seawater Leah with its another real, but I'll.
Nicholas, can't just get out of the car and walk to work if someone's coughing fascist what's happening, still dilemma. From full blown harvests season crews are already prepping the fields and soon they're gonna burst with spinach broccoli. Let us have a hand up three. I go home. I met Alfonso Hernandez and Debbie Rebecca Kosovo Magneto there at work their honour, actor and are sitting really close together. Who said as much in the London the lowest grew, but I guess this war will appear and their hauling. These long steel, irrigation pipes across these huge feels there said yet the irrigation system for the fields for the harvest or second Davignon Deniro, now reunion, I asked with their employer.
I ve told them so far about stepping up work, safety and social distance about the krona virus. Most a moment ago, Alfonso says his boss hasn't given them any information about the virus. This was it weeks ago, and I checked with him on the phone this week and he told me There had been a meeting and he'd been told to wash his hands, and that was it. I request in an interview with Alfonso Spa spike, didn't hear back, I'm ready, recording Money germander willingness on the secondary treasure for the United Farmers, our money. A menace works on behalf of farm workers, Armando. Team have been serving farm workers every few weeks, asking what their employer are telling them. He says the worker aren't getting enough information and that they're scared of the local council. Because of our being provided information,
get a visit. The money they're scared of getting infected now, so wonderful it says there are. Such workers in other workers are responding so like what now we're essential data. The two made a lot of farm workers really angry, because they were also saying: hey, I'm not immune. I could get sick as well and some are also very happy that they can continue working right, but very afraid, deeply afraid now I'll get it the emergency legislation passed by Congress offers up to eighty hours with me it's time for workers, but this doesn't apply to all companies Really big companies and really small companies can be exempt from paying out the sick time that mean Alfonzo intervene are not eligible because L corn, packing their employer, more than five hundred employees, many other farm workers are in the same position
I call L corn packing for comment, but they didn't get back to me Another issue is health insurance, more than half of farm workers. Don't have it. When workers finish their day in the field. Many them go home and they go home to boarding rooms like the one nickel lost lives and it costs too and sixty dollars a month, but the conditions are right less than ideal for fighting the krona virus. Sweden was a lawyer, but by NEO stop part, they say yes, uncorked or not. He tells me none of the rooms have their own bathrooms. Is us husband, Yosemite and there's a communal, bathroom does a year and died two toilets and sink concrete for some porters already. Second, only men who live here gap it some, not very clean
Think of a bathroom at like a run down state park or an old army barracks everything outside the showers. There's the sinks, there's a large tub like a basin and then there's small, bright, pink bar of soap, just one and everyone uses that he's heard about current virus on the radio, and he knows he needs to wash his head it's more and he says he's doing not, but when you look the wash basin that he has to use its caked with dirt. Where were you Do you have a symptom like a fever cough he adios This their report that my, although market, that he weighed call the form and an end to the hospital. But he didn't really seem to know much about what it meant to college SEC because he's never called and SEC Nego euros. Peterkin Baku In the states he's never meant to a doctor, the law Tom you went to a doctor was in Mexico, where they have
universal. Healthcare coverage is worked out by about love. No way and thrive solo, but I asked him if I could take a peak into his room and it a really small room very small, modest, it's just a single bad, really, with a single sheet alcoholic Athenian, every level say on a small nightstand, I see a bottle of rubbing alcohol and its but he uses to clean his hands disinfect his room and if he gets a cold here, on his face and says it's good for when his bones hurt its half full, the only cleaning products spot, How are you your names, Roger Roger Tuna, Yuki, Roger spent a big part of his life here, my parents?
we still have their went across the structures in the house. As you comment on the four we stop. What do you do here? I do that. Hence doors and windows, or something now he's the caretaker and Liz three doors down from nickel ass, his room doesn't have a bathroom meter. Yes, this is, single dwellings as far as the hygiene they don't have no laboratories, restrooms, listen civil purposes, yes, Will you have to get up and he had to go outside a cabana like they have to get travel over the goat legal, cleaner, like dormitory style. Yes, yes, Roger does his best to keep things stock t buy so in paper, towels with his own money, financially he's just a half step away from farmers who live here with him any worries about what will happen if people start getting sick. The now is like, if you have a fever, that you stay home,
We are think people do that. No, so they will constantly have work thanks to my Campbell of the world for brain. Is that story? None of the large farms or farm associations we contacted agreed to do an interview with us, but we were able to reach full Billy Farm just north of Sacramento. It's a smaller organic farm with about eighty full time, workers producing a hundred different crops, which they saw, the restaurants, wholesalers and farmers markets. Paul Mahler is one of the owners of thanks for joining. Well, thank you for having today. So specifically like what are you telling your employees so that they can remain safe? We talked about washing hands and cleanliness and using gloves when they take
and repeated handwashing whenever they take those gloves. Often they come in from the fields we ve talked about social. Distancing, not only with them as a crew, by trying to get them the information at their families and so that we as a farm, can hopefully avoid seeing any one come up here that might be ill and we're all the time they feel sick or if they feel like fade and don't feel well, they should stay home. They should call Us- and let us know what's going on so that we have a good handle on the health of any. One who is not able to come to work because they're they're not feeling well, but are they able to get to hand sanitize Earl or wash your hands whether in the field, so they travel is as a crew. Maybe four five people together trying to keep some distance. There may be truck half my hands and a tighter in the truck. We have Atwater headway stations here when they come in for lunch and when they start the day I finish today. Did you see? like a really impasse,
the whole situation for all involved in the sense of like having that many people lake in a car together is not you can't They do the social distancing there right. Well, that's that's true. We can practise the best type of of social distancing. Boucanning were asking them to work as a crew and or be not to set a couple in the back of a pickup up a throwing out to a field trying to be more mindful of the distance. They have between one another, but in other greater calamity may be if we stop producing food, and the greater irony is that at this time we realise that, though, two if we ve kind of disregarded or somewhat marginalized in society in one way or another, either by not acknowledging their contribution or not paying them well enough, so that they have a respectable. I think a razor kids
and got local schools etc. We now understand that their essential workers in this system- they are the ones who keep the food coming from the fields to those grocery stores were allowed depending upon more intimately. Now so it is an interim what we're doing the best we can and kind of making them go along here. We ve heard from some farm workers cord angry that they feel like now, how people consider them essential. But in general, then I'll get a lot of respect. I would say the angers pretty justified. They have always been essential workers. They have always been the hands that pick the fruit or sort the it is of corn or make a judgement about which apple is right. They ve all been doing that for years and if you look at California's agricultural economy,
They say ass. Many ass well anywhere from fifty to seventy percent of the workers in California. Fields may not be fully documented we should stop dancing around the idea of immigration reform. We have thirteen million people in this country. Doing a lot of the jobs that are critical jobs to keep our hotels, open or a restaurant, serving food or dishes getting washed or construction sites and continuing being built there doing things that are critical to us and we should stop fooling ourselves and get to the business of of allowing them recognition and some status There are not living in the shadows are living in fear, so you mention that a lot of workers are undocumented and that puts workers at greater risk. How does that affect you? As a farm owner.
Well, you know I I I have to verify, have never so screen over for every worker we have. I have to verify that they have a card that says they can work in this country, as every farmer does, but it I think, what it what it does is. It makes every one in the food system somewhat culpable to what is a lie and that ultimately erodes the character of any. One who has to farm and live with that lie. If one of the people working on farm got sick, what kind of healthcare options were they have told a part of their health insurance about fifty percent and they pay the other half. But we make sure in, and they understand the process of accessing their doctor and making sure they can. You said healthcare. We asked them to keep us informed of what's going on, so we can help them and But then we have to begin monitoring everybody else. It is a dangerous.
Someone who sick and then figure out how we deal with that. Are you worried about your farm surviving this crisis? Well, you know I am I'm not. With that. Are you worried about your farm surviving this crisis Well, you know I am I'm not in that. I know people are going to eat food in our social contract. What we're in business for is to grow food. I'm worried that at some point seven will say: farm workers can be out there and the real process that were engaged in right now. At the end of March first of April, we are planting our summer crops as most farmers in this area who grow crops for for production are planting summer crops and those are tomatoes and melons and corn in and beans, and things that we will be eating in six months from now or three months from now. It's really difficult to think about
We would say that the farm work community has to stay home and shelter in place, because there simply would stopping movement of a lot of crops from California field. Is the government told you that closure form temporarily? What would you do? Well, I think we have up a partnership here. I think all partners would be picking vegetables and thinking what we could and we take pick and pack and try and get things to people who need it. And if we can't have our farm workers here, those of us who are able to work on the farm was still take. What we can, but will we won't be able to produce nearly as much as we can with a good good, healthy crew, so I do know what we do, but mother is one of the owners of full belly farm north of Sacramento Paul. Thank you so much for talking to us will you very? welcome. Thank you for your show and what you're doing.
One morning, Paul tells us that is offering workers up to eighty hours of sick time, which the federal relief package now provides and the day after we spoke. Into some follow up note. He said our conversation gotta thinking, so he held a meeting with his crew and told them they could only allowed to people in a truck from now on and they must practise six feet of social distance. He says there ordering masks, but in the meantime, he's encouraging workers to cover their mouths would bandanas in between the field at the table is the grocery store and some workers there are worried about having to come into contact with the public, Absolutely if I could afford border just stay home and they quarantined with my family until this whole thing blows over. There is no doubt in my mind. I would do it you listening to reveal.
from the centre for investigative reporting and p r ex this is reveal a lesson the lettuce and broadly that have picked by farm workers in California make their way store shelves thanks in large part, to an army of workers in died, grocery stores right now, the majority of Americans, shelter in place grocery store, are some of the last remaining hubs of activity and there also potential hubs for the spread of the corona virus grocery store workers or on the front lines designated? an essential workforce by some states. How well they being protected and compensated for their role in this fight to find out, I called a belief in teacher since thirty years old and works in the protest department at. In Dixie Grocery store in Pensacola Florida? Do for the first time you heard about the corona virus. I do what you think about it. Actually, I took a pretty serious right off the bat and what about you,
They were slow to respond at first they took a lotta gloves from the proteins department. Ass around everybody, but they were only given him a few pairs at a time. And then they start to get a little more serious and they took away the community coffee, the free coffee for our customers. They took away single, serve donuts They were wiping things down a little bit more, but it didn't seem to diligent. Ten, they are not enforcing burst. Export policy in the Czech outlines everybody stop creating. They are trying to check out as quickly as again is it possible to do that. It is definitely possible their stores. Target. For example, last time we went in there, they actually put little circles on the ground at the Tec outlined that are six feet apart. I know public's has started installing little plastic guards we never cashiers and the customers, but yeah there's. No.
Too much going on over at when Dixie, and when did you start feeling sick fifteen days today was when I started feeling sick. I am still symptomatic, I'm not getting better. However, it's not getting worse either. So I guess at the plus wonder what is symptoms, it you haven't, I know my lungs are very heavy, my wife's having the pretty much the same symptoms as I am, we feel like we got those little led blankets from the dentist. Just sit, not our lungs little bit dry, cough congestion, guess we're lucky. After do not have a fever anyway, crazy symptom. So we were just told the stay home. Have you been tested fordable that an interesting question? We cannot protested, we do not,
the criteria for testing in our area. You have to be over sixty five with severe symptoms. You have to have left the country in the past few weeks or had positive contact with some who has been diagnosed so because we don't meet those criteria or the unspent ones of being an actor politician or athlete we can't get tested. Unfortunately, they said two out of the three symptoms is just not enough right now in digital. You oh you're, that you are feeling sick. I did I the day I was feeling sick. I went in and I but my manager look, I dont think I need to be here. I need to go home and she said well, we were told them send you home right away. Then, if you don't feel good, then are you being paid the of sick leave and absolutely not so when he was a head back to work Thursday of this week. There is it so I'm talking to you on a Monday and you go back in four days. How are you feeling I mean? I'm still,
feeling symptomatic, I don't feel like I'm a hundred percent, that's for sure, but a gag really can afford a sad. A work. Much longer is, is I mean that's the primary driver are you going back at you? You need a paycheck absolutely if I could afford just stay home and they quarantine with my family until this whole and blows over. There is no doubt in my mind. I would do it. Are you now spreading the virus, if, if you have it offers I live in an older community where the youngest when our neighborhood, so I'm scared every day from my neighbors, so we told them. You know, don't even come to our yard right now, we're just trying to protect. Everybody around us. So what GonNA, doing you go back to work. Are you like? I know, wear gloves and a mask a mean what what what you're game? Yes, actually before this got really really bad.
Me and my wife actually get our hands on one and ninety five mask each and I'm just gonna happen. I guess Lysol solid every single day after my shifting reuse it because we aren't getting supplied, masks and I'm sure as hell. I want to trust a bandanna. How important is your paycheck? Two year families finances my gosh. Its critical, my wife is medically tired. She doesn't get a ton of money. She covers the bills. My paycheck basically covers our food and any kind of action we may need, Do you have any idea how you may have gotten sick in the first place, I would put my bet on working at the grocery store. First of all, produce department. People are touching every single potato, every single tomato, every pepper. It's not like the aisles somebody described in a box and Golan luge like people to know about what it's like to work in a grocery store right now, cheese,
patient with everybody who is working there, please be respectful of the social distancing and don't touch everything commit before you actually put it in your heart. I'm just curious ITALY, We were in this really really hard space where people kind of flesh you were. People like yourself have to make really hard decisions like you're, not feeling well, but on the flip side you can afford to stay home. How does that make you feel helpless? Last week we were married this is supposed to be the richest and greatest country in the world
right now. I really dont feel that way. Are you worried about speaking here about the working conditions? I dont care anymore, I'm at the point where I am just so fed up with it that I understand done it's time for people to just start speaking out about their employers and the lack care that were given. You know we don't feel valued half the time maiden. Thank you. So much for TAT today and really, I hope, you feel better and to carry yourself. Thank you, sir. I appreciate document ticker after we spoke Nathan when Dixie updated its policies installing plexiglas partitions a check out
opening its rules or social distancing? Anything just learned he's not allowed to go back to work without a doctor's note. He still isn't it pay time off. We reached out for comment to index parent company selfies grocers, but never her back. Nathan got in touch That's because we ve been running a campaign on social media, Cain Grocery Workers to tell us what their seeing during this crisis? The results are eye. Opening we had more six hundred responses from a cashier at a shop right store, New Jersey to worker at home, food and Orleans Louisiana. My colleagues, Patrick the goals and will call us have been reading through them in interviewing grocery workers across the country, will see it with me. Now. Talk about what they learned. It will have so ill no, you been focusing on the ten biggest grocery chains like Kroger in Albert since the work we hear from a minute ago, Nathan. It's his situation, unusual, deaf
not I may we heard this again and again and again for a lot of these people bid just isn't an auction. They have to go to work in order to keep food on the table. Here's what one work at a major supermarket in Wyoming wrote to us. He says there was drawing of multiple days where I was insane these sick. Yet I came in to work to risk not being fired out work for a brief period of time before any collapsed, and then I'm allowed to go home. That's just doesn't sound safe. I mean that's not good for the employees, but also for the people there are coming into the store right. Am I wanted the place by tubes kind described? This is like the grocery stores eyed. The petri dish is like that
place that this virus is gonna get spread around. I mean I don't know about you, but I haven't left my house other than to go to the grocery store. Like that's the only place I go to pick up. My groceries is the only place they interact with people and I think that that's a similar experience for a lot of people, but there are some grocery stores and are giving people time offering. Yet this is definitely something that's really been evolving. Throughout this crisis, we heard from dozens of employees from some of the biggest grocery chains, who told us that the only way that they can get paid sink time did they could prove that they contracted covert nineteen, but we all know how hard it is, especially for young people to actually get tested. Now some companies getting to relax days policies, huge change like Krueger and now send the people who are sick and self isolate that they can also get pay time off for a lot of work has been a really confusing time. We definitely still hearing from people like Nathan who feel that they have.
Good work, even if they feel sick. So what about paying gentlemen, grocery stores have got to be met, a lot of money right now? I've seen some stories like Public's, have been making record sales lately. Yes, so early on, some change like whole foods and our citizens opt work pay by two dollars. Now, essentially, has it pay, but other company started off smaller. Take Kroger they initially offered. Work is just a twenty five dollar credit to be spent. Inside the store. They just sounds like something from America's pass. It sounds like a company town or something where you know you're, giving script that you can only spend in the place that you earned the script from and you know they took a lot of heat for that out after employees complained. Crooked did up the one time bonuses two hundred and fifty dollars for part time, workers and three hundred dollars for full time workers. But Kroger waited until the end of March to increase the basic pay by two dollars now they're calling this hero
rather than has it pay and he's going into effect for at least three weeks so The companies tell you when you talk to them. What I tried to interview all of the top ten grocery companies, but nobody, would go on the radio and on strike questions. We did get a few kind of broad pr statements that the companies that put out so he is a statement we got from a Kroger spokesperson. For example, they say our associates are on the front lines ensuring Americans have access to the food and products they need during this unprecedented pandemic. We're committed to protecting Health and safety of our associates that same statement says that Kroger has let its employees know that their now permitted to wear, masks and gloves, but multiple Kroger employees and employers of other chains, say that they ve been discouraged from wearing those at their local stores.
We note a lot, a grocery store workers think of their employees. What do they had to say about the customers? Right work has a really upset. Frustrated about learning how to being treated by their employers, but also how customers are interacting with them hundreds of workers road to tell us how stressful it is when people are panic, buying, not stir six feet away or even swamping them. When a new delivery comes in and some people taught us, they ve been screamed at hate, even spat on. Ok, so will all of us still have to buy food We be good citizens when were out of the store, picking up our supplies. I'm a grocery work is dead. Tired stressed out at this point Don't necessarily want to be told the day. Heroes are anything, but just a nice word here, and that goes a long way right and
You know when a new low to start comes in I'd, say just respect people's space and recognised that the person unpacking that later produce. They might be really worried whether this might be the day that they end up taking the virus home with them, and these people have to make this decision morning when they wake up. You know, do I go to work and faced this virus and come home with a paycheck, or do I just take time off? Usually unpaid phase law will thanks I'll. Also thanks to patch Michael's for his work reporting the story did these? times of uncertainty were seen. People pull together in Ukraine. Lifting the ways there helping out, especially basic needs. Like food
here now for one group that stepping up its efforts to support the community, the ogre project in New York City. It was founded to fight food insecurity among black Trans, new Yorkers folks, it even in the best of times or at risk for poverty, hunger, unemployment and homelessness. Enfield Stuart is the organizations under okra is historically in been used as a way out link the across. It would be so bold and into black folks hair during the transatlantic slave trade as a means of bringing food into this The world that we were entering so okra in our cooking has always kind represented. You know vitality and wealth, prosperity, passing things on from unity. That kind of thing, a notes. Seems like a lifetime ago for many of us, but do you amber when you can just go to someone's. How for dinner or have someone at yours back, then the ogre project was bringing black trance
into the homes of black tradespeople to cook them healthy home could meals for free. You can be nice to have Someone in your home to cook for your like that. Just that's! That's a love language for so many black people and that our community, I think cooking, is a huge way of saying I love you. I stand grace to you in We thought, rather than kind of union making meals and just sending them to people like what is it like to actually have the luxury of having a private chef now is the community building happening in the kitchen with folks who are really getting like love handed them on a plate. We also, then, can connect them till. I hate action, need help in these other areas of my life in here all these other organizations, full of people that look loving, live like you that can help you as well, so you create veal, prepared it has a going around serving love on a plate. I love that. That's like look at that's amazing, so you go around serving love on a plate and then
RO a virus hits so have you had? Did change your operation because of that obviously moments like this like this world that we are now living in, we ve had to shift how we do things Then what were able to do but the heart of what we These are trying to do at the upper project. There is in eat meat it and make it easy accessible in free, but we go to the grocery store we by as much as we can, for. We have increased people such as dig in I'm or other local community organisations who have been, who have donated food to us and we put packages together, put them in a car service and have that car service take on the food directly to the persons. They can get it right out of the back seat so that the best way that we found to Lake stay connected to people and ensure that people are fed. Men have liked the resource You need to cover themselves without actually having any. Some contact are exposing anyone and it's been really difficult, the other, We got a donation that was all fresh fruits and things
and so we might well. We have to get me outta. This has to go to day and it was like fulfilling my living room, and so we found with a car. We filled the back seat with all her groceries and things like that, and basically just went around and created sort of like the ogre project drive through grocery store and folks could basically, in a commander their house. We didn't have to conduct because we could talk from, front of the car, and it's like say hi to everyone, and people can just get the groceries. They need it. So that was some of the immediate responses that we got anything we had left over. We turn into the California Centre where a dream credible work right now as well to protect our youth and so yeah. It's the same, but it's been really valuable to sort of know that people are so contributing to your organization and trusting us to help the community. Thank you for the work you do. And thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. We really appreciated thanks a lot. You can find out more about the oak project at the ogre project: dot com,
bring people together. That's one of the things air travel does best, but the industries hit hard by the corona powers when we come back. What is meant for flight attendants who are still fly? You listening to me from the centre for investigative reporting and p R. Ex this is reveal I'm outlets. What are the industry's hit hardest by the corona virus? Is air travel the number of planes Passengers in the air is weighed down below week of March AIR carriers flew less than half the number of flights. Compare at the same time last year and the federal government stepping it
promising airline companies, fifty billion dollars and grants and loan guarantees to keep them in business. So I was up lieutenant during nine eleven, and I saw a close how the industry change almost overnight. Of course security got more intense, but there were other things too like like how we treat each other every one flight attendants and the public did each other suspiciously. It was a hard shift to make I want to know what it was like flying during this crisis, so I reached out to a flight at the start of flying about a year ago: the job as a good judge. You know she d, things. Are you never even think of her? visiting in your life and especially if you're good people person. I love sleeping with people to perfect jobs for me, J and when I using his full name because he's worried about losing his job, he was one of them your carriers but he's not flying right now, because he sick with what he's pretty Yours covered eighteen,
remembers early on that is company was putting out alerts about the corona virus on its website, but they weren't making a big deal about it. Then, one day he went to work and everything changed vote, but in terms of this desire to airport, That's gonna lose real Colombo, set out, say in the past two weeks. There still have weak, They start you really bad. I took a flight, they usually will take. A lot of people will be on a flight. However, only sixteen people out of the two hundred percent open sixteen people in diesel. The airline was taking the threat seriously in our or do they did you feel like they were watching for you and the passengers not far more. I don't believe so to start a Fatima pocket, that's one arm. They started out.
Taking a serious. Did the airline begin changing the way they clean the planes I used to be a flight attendant now remember, it has. We would have quick turns so you get in the cleaning comes on, but also a lot of times. I we were helping the cleaning group, as you just had to move really quickly and I'm just curious. If they come up their game with cleaning given what's goin on haven't seen dimmed spray in your speech because from a speech now, however, have go into the forward doors as well as the afterwards spray and white down, always like everything that you can see would imagine no being at that for door, and people coming in, You do the whole hello, hello, hello, hello and her time you're. Watching people go like do you have it? Are you sick, but of course they of speak with Canada tilted? I go back to
You told me go more wary here. Therefore, that happened alive. So when did you start feeling sick must our philosophic? Three days ago, I have made progress on flights between it and keep there, a positive for nineteen, and shortly after the I began feeling haven't felt concerned symptoms of night flights fever. The eggs and so have you been able to get to a doctor to get tested? Now, a bit worried. I spoke with a doctor via an app called back to demand, and they interviewed and simply off the fact that I've been in contact with somebody they sent me to stay their forward
this virus has sort of long incubation period. Do you think you are flying why you might have been sick? Definitely everything go see while I was I may not have any symptoms at the time it takes a while for to developing to be seen, and so how are you feeling now, I'm so weak? Nobody heard very bad. The sort of get about a baby. After four I have to get out and the weather become weaker in every night. I have a fever of about and I'd call out, cold, sweat away. Do my bit soaked because, having swayed nor made, however, on freezing So is this gonna change flying for you? We will you rethink the career path. Not at all levels of aviation in general, must show that we needed a break needed a reality check. The whole world did J thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us,
in terms of spreading the virus. How dangerous is air travel at a time like this so I'll? The short story, as we have all the information we need to speak with certainty reveals Willis Louis has been looking at how airlines responding to the growing of evolution in turn, spreading the virus. How dangerous is air travel at a time like this so out? A short story As we have all the information, we need to speak with certainty about that part of what dangerous overall about covered nineteen. Is that its fairly new But we do know that it's the same, some type of crony virus as Sars, and you know some of the response Sars were grounding flights because we know that was an important factor and proliferation of the disease and then other features specific took over
t like the New England Journal of Medicine, published research recently the found for on a virus and air, but they aerosol Ized at up to three hours later and they found the virus living on some surfaces like plastic. Up to three days later, the sounds like a nightmare. In a closed environment like an airplane, yeah absolutely. You know that the best guidance we have in the CDC is basically impartial, The follow on an airplane, you know not being within six feet of other people if it's a full flight, carefully managed that wash your hands com We can't we do that either. So what about all these risks, but how will the airlines responding to them? Actually, a flight attendant reached out to me a couple of weeks ago about exactly this. She reached because she was afraid to go to work his hearing about all these are people who work for airlines are working airports who are getting sick, but she wasn't getting any more information from employer about it. One airport shut down because air traffic control got it at one point:
She actually even saw another sky was flight attendant posed online that they are tested positive. Then again, heard nothing directly from her employer. So did she ever here they think from skyways. Yes, definitely ass. She shared documents with me from her workplace had emails and bulletins and F a cue paves the whole employee web portal. Updated information, but it was kind of mixed in part. It was a lot of sources of information to keep track of at the same time, but it was also because sometimes with the company said, didn't reflect what she was reading else where, for example, on March Fourth accompanying Bolton said that immediate health risk from covered nineteen to the general like is considered low and to be fair at the beginning of March. I don't think a lot of people were taken away seriously. Now I dont think I was either. I just bought a flight wasn't super worried by
that same day that she got this company bulletin. The CDC website said this would likely become a pandemic and the CDC website, on. A different page was telling airlines that any flight attendant with symptoms, even if they haven't tested positive for it, should self isolate so. She decided to call in and speak with someone directly about self isolation. She had worked sick recently, not suspecting that it was krona virus, just wondering what happens if I feel sick again, the website said that she has to have a symptom and a doctor's note to call out from work and not have an effect. Her reputation, score is called is it not to be penalized at work, so she called in and asked what options are and the person on the phone told her not just that. She'd have to have a doctor's, no, but that she'd have to have all of the covered nineteen symptoms, the fever, the dry cough, the shortens the breath all of it.
So when I worked for a regional airline, we fit into one major, and that was it so we only had to go by one set of rules, but Sir I was has agreements with a lot of different airlines. Does she have to keep track of all of those? Yes, Skywest? Actually partners with four majors Delta United American Alaska. This fight attended doesn't have to work with all of those but we have more than one to worry about an Does those majors have their systems for things like whether flight attendants take out the trash at the end of the flight, how beverage service works and all that but now, as these airlines respond to the crisis and each one updates their policies week to week about things like this beverage service or wearing gloves on the job, it's even more confusing to keep track of. Did you the sense that this flight attendant was feeling alone, as in she's the only one it has these worries and everybody else is working in that worried about it so much she
Please she's, an Arab Skywest flight attendants, Facebook Group and a lot of people their expressing concerns me. A lot of people are also responding to say They feel perfectly fine and they signed up for this. But I love the push back centres around people saying: innovate signed up to be flight attendants, but not during a pandemic. One post that really struck me was. If I hadn't, who said you know all he was getting, was an extra handful of disinfectant wipes any so it felt like the equivalent of thoughts and prayers This isn't just a Skywest problem. We ve heard from five attendants from a lot of airlines who said they also have private facebook group, Sir other private, mine communities. Talking about their fears. There is actually ones the seventy covered. Nineteen. That's are just three weeks ago, and today it has. Forty nine thousand members, while so well the airlines say about these concerns. I do we'd. Have them on the phone with you to answer these questions, but none of them respond to give us an interview, we contacted the
largest mainline carriers and the ten largest regional carriers and most and even respond at all, and thus it did respond. Just pointed us to the generic of washing hands and social distancing on a web page, and so the regional didn't have any guidance posted at all, including Skywest, so how possible the airlines which are so regulated by the federal government for safety. How come with us? something like that for a public health crisis, so intent, The federal regulation, the Federal Aviation Administration, the department, transportation really do have a thought it issue emergency regulation at a time like this, but they haven't. Yet. We ask them to comment, but- it didn't respond to requests either aside from these, agencies. Is the federal government doing anything Congress looking at any protections here, so they almost dead? On March eleven, the house introduced a bill with a provision to create standards to protect workers
specifically workers that either the CDC or OSHA deems high risk from infectious diseases that includes health care workers, but according to OSHA and also includes airline workers, but by the time that bill past the house, The Parisian wasn't there anymore, so it wasn't in the two trillion dollar bail out that present Trump signed to respond to this crisis. Melissa. Getting back. Floods in work for Skywest. What are your plans for the future? So she told me You really like doing this and she had no plans to stop doing it, time soon, but she also didn't have plans for the pandemic. In now, just not sure why she's going to do a little, who is thank you so much for banks out, The solution is reveals data reporter shed help on this if I'm Emily swing the rest of the show was produced by announcing BS, Cortez and Michael Schiller, with additional reporting from Patrick Michael's are added, as for this week, show our Genji in Turkey, telemedicine, Rep, Myers, made additional
editorial support from eighty Donoghue. Nor does a keynote Sue oh inextricably thanks to our. Indeed, maintain semi Aguilar by Duncan and Hannah Yes Victoria, their nets, is our general Council a production manders Monday in a host of school. And sound designed by the Justice League J Breezy, Mr Jim Briggs, Fernando my man, your router and clear, see no moment they had held this week from endings energy, but me r, C, Ios Crystal sharper met, tops is our editor in chief executive producer is Kevin. Solving our theme, music is by Colorado, lightning, speed for reviews provided by the Raven David Logan Foundation, the John Dene CAP, Macarthur Foundation, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the highs, Simons Foundation, the democracy fund and the ethics and excellence in journalism foundation. River, is a co production at the center for investigative reporting and p r ex lesson and remember the only way through. This is again
yeah X.
Transcript generated on 2020-04-15.