What we owe essential workers

Essential workers have played a critical role to keep our lives and economy going during the pandemic. Why haven't we given them the pay and protections that they deserve?

Listen 49:00
(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

When the pandemic first hit, many Americans shifted safely to remote work, but essential workers didn’t have that choice and had to go to their jobs in order to keep America going. Working in grocery stores, transit, restaurants, meatpacking, home healthcare, retail, and sanitation, essential workers have played a critical role in all our lives and to our economy throughout this public health crisis. In part two of our series on the state of work during the pandemic, we turn to essential workers and look at the work they do, the risks they take and why we aren’t compensating them for their sacrifices. Our guests include MOLLY KINDER, fellow at the Brookings Institution. We’ll also hear from some essential workers in our region including LOLITA OWENS, a home healthcare provider, KATINA SIMMONS, a grocery store office coordinator, GERALD BYERS, a hotel guest agent.

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