CTB/IB Workers for Covid-19 Safety (Customer Solidarity Petition)

CTB/IB Owners

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Dear Ithaca,

Out of concern for ourselves, our management, our valued CTB and IB customer community, and the Ithaca community as a whole, we find it necessary to present these demands in the hopes that those who work for CTB and IB, those who love it, and everyone in between can have a happy and healthy winter. It’s become clear that our government is unwilling or unable to properly ensure the safety of individuals and businesses at this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this is reflected by the all-time high active cases and infection rates, both in Ithaca and the rest of the United States.

Multiple employees have individually expressed these concerns to CTB/IB ownership, but this has not been enough to achieve the COVID-19 protections we and our customers deserve. In light of this, CTB/IB Workers for COVID-19 Safety are standing united together in our five collective demands for the closure of indoor dining until a vaccine is widely available, more specific sanitation and safety enforcement roles, more physical barriers to separate workers and customers, hazard pay for working in the most dangerous period yet, and the strict adherence to our worker-designed protocol for responding to COVID-19 exposures and infections. We hope that as a customer community, you will stand with us in demanding the protections we need — just six feet away, please :)

Sponsored by
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Ithaca, NY

To: CTB/IB Owners
From: [Your Name]

To whom it may concern,

We, the workers of the sister companies Ithaca Bakery and Collegetown Bagels, are demanding more intensive COVID-19 restrictions in an effort to balance what will be a difficult winter with the chance to safely continue working.

OUR DEMANDS:

HAZARD PAY OF NO LESS THAN $2 AN HOUR
Other businesses in Ithaca are either committed to paying a living wage, or have given their workers hazard pay during at least a portion of the COVID-19 crisis. We, as the workers of CTB, were never offered this option. The amount of responsibilities put on the average full time Ithaca Bakery and/or CTB employee are already worth more than the standard $12.25 starting wage, which will be below minimum wage on January 1st, 2021. The average worker has proven themselves even more valuable during the current crisis, a crisis we the workers cannot protect ourselves from while simultaneously earning a living.

THE COMPLETE CLOSURE OF INDOOR DINING UNTIL A VACCINE IS MADE WIDELY AVAILABLE
We workers find it necessary to immediately close all indoor dining, not only for the good of the workers, but for the wellbeing of the Ithaca community. Not only will this be in the best interest of this town we call home, but there is a plethora of data (See Figure 1) supporting the swift and unmitigated spread of the novel coronavirus in cramped indoor spaces, such as restaurants. In light of the recent COVID exposures at various Ithaca dining establishments, coupled with unsavory weather conditions, this is undoubtedly the right thing to do.

A COMPREHENSIVE, CLEAR PLAN IF/WHEN CONFRONTED WITH AN EMPLOYEE TESTING POSITIVE.
Multiple employees, across each Ithaca Bakery and Collegetown Bagels location, have found themselves being forced into a position of having to beg for the proper time to simply get tested. The current trends inform us that these occurrences of potential exposure and eventual positive tests will only continue to climb, and it is terrifying entering a workspace every day that has never published a plan for what is increasingly seeming to be an inevitable event.

AN INCREASED AMOUNT OF PHYSICAL BARRIERS AS IS FIT FOR EACH RESPECTIVE FRANCHISE LOCATION
One of the most commonly cited issues among workers is the lack of physical protections from COVID. We are demanding the appropriate amount of barriers be given to the respective locations, on an as-needed basis depending on the requirements as mandated by the layout of each location.

A WORKER BEING ASSIGNED THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF COVID COMPLIANCY ON A ROTATING BASIS
On a rotating basis, a staff member will be selected to specifically oversee COVID-19 safety and compliance in their respective location. This person’s main task that week will be keeping on top of and logging COVID procedures, so as to have special attention paid to this ongoing issue by somebody who is not responsible for other tasks on top of their COVID compliance responsibilities. The period of time an employee spends in this position will be agreed upon by the workers.

The foundation of these demands is a bedrock of respect and an investment in making a beloved company the best it can be, and we do not intend to cause harm or negativity in stating them. It is our sincerest hope that we will be listened to, respected, and can reach the safest consensus possible.

Respectfully,
The Concerned Workers of Collegetown Bagels and Ithaca Bakery