A coalition of Amazon, FedEx, Instacart, Target, Walmart, and Whole Foods workers are reportedly planning to call in sick or walk off the job Friday to demand fair pay and safe working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rebecca Kolins Givan, associate professor in the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, believes these actions will spur union organizing drives and embolden more workers to stand up for their rights in the weeks to come.

“It’s significant to see workers coming together, across hundreds of workplaces, without the resources of a union or a union contract,” Givan said. “It goes to show that non-union workers are not only fed up, but they are organizing and strategizing to put pressure on their employers. This action will doubtless lead to union organizing drives and more sick-outs and walk-outs. Strikes are contagious. As we saw with the wave of #Red4Ed teacher strikes, workers are emboldened when they see collective action happening elsewhere.”

Givan is available for interview by Zoom, phone, or email.