Caribou Coffee workers to hold car rally against 'unsafe working conditions'

They say they don't have adequate coronavirus protections.

On Monday morning, you might see a bit of a commotion — and a lot of cars — outside a Caribou Coffee in Roseville.

Employees of the coffee chain, along with members of the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC) of Minnesota, will hold a "Drive-Through for Justice Car Rally” at the 2218 County Road D location to protest Caribou's COVID-19 policies.

A press release from ROC says the protesters are demanding the company "take action to protect and properly compensate its employees" with the following: hazard pay, "appropriate PPE" (personal protective equipment) and paid sick leave to employees who need it.

As the name of the rally suggests, participants will demonstrate from their cars; additionally, they'll be delivering PPE to the Roseville store "while maintaining social-distancing protocols."

According to ROC, workers have been reporting that "many Caribou Coffee stores around the Twin Cities" and across the country are failing to provide gloves, sneeze guards and masks. 

The organization also says the company doesn't have a sick leave policy, while "essential workers who report to stores each day" are not being compensated for their trouble.

A Saturday Facebook post from ROC says that while Caribou Coffee "claimed to take various precautions" against COVID-19 after being flooded with emails and phone calls demanding improved safety, "there has been very little follow-through on these claims."

ROC says a survey of over 60 Caribou Coffee workers found that the corporation "has yet to implement these precautions in many shop locations."

The demonstration will take place at 10am, and is scheduled to last an hour. 

BringMeTheNews received this statement from Caribou Coffee:

Over two weeks ago, Caribou Coffee was contacted by and immediately responded to ROC Minnesota’s questions about our standard operating procedures and pay policies. Our desire was to start a meaningful and constructive conversation with this group, but ROC Minnesota did not respond.

Since the onset of COVID-19, Caribou Coffee has and will continue to implement fact-based guidance and mandates from both national and local health authorities to protect the safety and livelihoods of our team members while providing an essential service to our communities. Caribou has maintained regular communication and collaboration with our employees directly to ensure our teams have up-to-date information, resources, and equipment to continue serving safely and responsibly. 

The company also said they're made a number of efforts to address coronavirus concerns, including working to provide PPE and raising team member pay by 10 percent during May, 

Caribou is headquartered in Brooklyn Center and has over 450 locations across the U.S. 

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