Safer Healthier Shelby County

Shelby County Commission and Memphis City Council People

Corporations just received a $5 trillion bailout and many bosses are working from home. Working people on the front line - at hospitals and sanitation departments, in grocery stores and warehouses, maintaining internet and other utilities - are still forced to work in risky unsafe working conditions. Many employers are not doing their part - their negligence put workers and the public at risk. We call on City and County officials to do all in their power to force local employers, FedEx, other essential business and all business about to reopen, to comply with Shelby County Health Directives, with federal OSHA and NLRA standards, and to meet the basic needs of workers.

Many essential business deal with shipping orders, picking orders, packing orders, filling orders, stocking, delivering orders, picking up orders and assisting customers face to face. Many employees are being asked to work overtime, and stress levels are building up mentally and physically. FedEx is one of the essential business which historically always profits during a crisis, in a environmental disaster, destruction stemming from human error or in the current global pandemic. FedEx is serving hospitals and other healthcare facilities, government agencies, first responders, grocery stores, food producers, etc.


FedEx and other essential business provide critical products and services. These products and services, do not get delivered without the employees, who take on extra work hours and more importantly extra risk to their well-being. These essential business employees have no problems in rolling up their sleeves and working during these challenging times. All members of our community are grateful for this work. We, workers at FedEx and other essential businesses, however, do have a problem with a reactive approach to a global pandemic from a company despite rhetoric of proactive safety for workers and customers. We have a problem taking on extra work and extra risk without receiving vital support including hazards pay, additional healthcare and intensified workplace safety precautions/procedures. We have a problem not feeling safe at work while ensuring safety of others.

Every day we meet co-workers passing through without social distance or proper protection like masks. This puts us at risk of exposure to and contractions of novel coronavirus. We are upset that FedEx and other essential businesses took so long to make vital changes, waiting until someone spoke up about the fear of novel coronavirus in the workplace. We, FedEx employees and all essential workers, deserve protection and compensation adequate to the risk of coming to work every day during this deadly global pandemic.


Many employers refuse to offer proper sick leave, forcing workers to choose between paying the bills and taking care of their health. This encourages sick or exposed people to go into work, putting all their coworkers and the public at greater risk. Worst of all, workers who want to speak up about these violations often don’t because employers have a free hand to retaliate with impunity.

We, FedEx employees, other essential workers, workers soon forced back to work, and our supporters, together need the following. We demand these considerations directly of FedEx and our other employers; and we call on City Council, County Commission an all local leaders to use the full extent of their authority to require local businesses to comply and meet these needs.


1. Hazard pay in the form of overtime (time and a half), including back pay for high risk days already worked. Overtime exists because overtime work puts extra tear and wear on the human body and mind, increasing risk to the employee and their co-workers at work. We deserve to be appropriately compensated and protected.

2. Coverage of any and all additional healthcare costs not covered by an employees' chosen healthcare plan for any employee coming into FedEx facilities during the pandemic that either contracts the virus or falls ill related to stress caused by working during the pandemic.

3. Implementation of a policy and procedure to identify and isolate sick workers (for example), taking employees temperature every day entering their work shift from every entrance coming into the facility, who should be sent home and given as many paid sick days as needed for full recovery.

4. Sufficient emergency paid time off for any ill employee, ill for whatever reason, during this time of crisis. This paid time should not count against PTO.  

5. Immediate testing for any employee that falls ill with COVID-19 symptoms, and testing for the entire work location.

6. Take additional measures to protect workers who meet a criteria that puts them at increased risk during this pandemic, including individuals with preexisting conditions, individuals 60+, and pregnant people.

7. Provide all team members with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and implement a safe and standardized process for serving proper training on PPE. That must be provided by FedEx and other businesses.

8. Comply with all local health Department, Federal OSHA and NLRA regulations and workplace guidelines. Comply with all federal NLRA, OSHA and constitutional mandates, immediately cease all retaliation against workers and make visible workplace posting about the illegality of retaliation.

*****


If you have concerns about YOUR workplace's health and safety, or suspect a possible health directive or OSHA violation by an employer, please call the Shelby County Action Center hotline (901) 222-2300

What's a violation of the Health Directive??
Any 'essential' workplace without sufficient masks or other protective equipment.
Any 'essential' workplace not observing the six-foot separation social distancing guideline.
Any 'essential' workplace not screening workers for symptoms at clock-in.

Whats a violation of Occupational Health and Safety Act and the National Labor Relations Act?
Any workplace where you are compelled to work in unsafe or immediately dangerous conditions.
Any workplace where you are threatened with retaliation for speaking up about safety concerns.


To: Shelby County Commission and Memphis City Council People
From: [Your Name]

Corporations just received a $5 trillion bailout and many bosses are working from home. Working people on the front line - at hospitals and sanitation departments, in grocery stores and warehouses, maintaining internet and other utilities - are still forced to work in risky unsafe working conditions. Many employers are not doing their part - their negligence put workers and the public at risk. We call on City and County officials to do all in their power to force local employers, FedEx, other essential business and all business about to reopen, to comply with Shelby County Health Directives, with federal OSHA and NLRA standards, and to meet the basic needs of workers.

Many essential business deal with shipping orders, picking orders, packing orders, filling orders, stocking, delivering orders, picking up orders and assisting customers face to face. Many employees are being asked to work overtime, and stress levels are building up mentally and physically. FedEx is one of the essential business which historically always profits during a crisis, in a environmental disaster, destruction stemming from human error or in the current global pandemic. FedEx is serving hospitals and other healthcare facilities, government agencies, first responders, grocery stores, food producers, etc.

FedEx and other essential business provide critical products and services. These products and services, do not get delivered without the employees, who take on extra work hours and more importantly extra risk to their well-being. These essential business employees have no problems in rolling up their sleeves and working during these challenging times. All members of our community are grateful for this work. We, workers at FedEx and other essential businesses, however, do have a problem with a reactive approach to a global pandemic from a company despite rhetoric of proactive safety for workers and customers. We have a problem taking on extra work and extra risk without receiving vital support including hazards pay, additional healthcare and intensified workplace safety precautions/procedures. We have a problem not feeling safe at work while ensuring safety of others.

Every day we meet co-workers passing through without social distance or proper protection like masks. This puts us at risk of exposure to and contractions of novel coronavirus. We are upset that FedEx and other essential businesses took so long to make vital changes, waiting until someone spoke up about the fear of novel coronavirus in the workplace. We, FedEx employees and all essential workers, deserve protection and compensation adequate to the risk of coming to work every day during this deadly global pandemic.

Many employers refuse to offer proper sick leave, forcing workers to choose between paying the bills and taking care of their health. This encourages sick or exposed people to go into work, putting all their coworkers and the public at greater risk. Worst of all, workers who want to speak up about these violations often don’t because employers have a free hand to retaliate with impunity.

We, FedEx employees, other essential workers, workers soon forced back to work, and our supporters, together need the following. We demand these considerations directly of FedEx and our other employers; and we call on City Council, County Commission an all local leaders to use the full extent of their authority to require local businesses to comply and meet these needs.

1. Hazard pay in the form of overtime (time and a half), including back pay for high risk days already worked. Overtime exists because overtime work puts extra tear and wear on the human body and mind, increasing risk to the employee and their co-workers at work. We deserve to be appropriately compensated and protected.

2. Coverage of any and all additional healthcare costs not covered by an employees' chosen healthcare plan for any employee coming into FedEx facilities during the pandemic that either contracts the virus or falls ill related to stress caused by working during the pandemic.

3. Implementation of a policy and procedure to identify and isolate sick workers (for example), taking employees temperature every day entering their work shift from every entrance coming into the facility, who should be sent home and given as many paid sick days as needed for full recovery.

4. Sufficient emergency paid time off for any ill employee, ill for whatever reason, during this time of crisis. This paid time should not count against PTO.

5. Immediate testing for any employee that falls ill with COVID-19 symptoms, and testing for the entire work location.

6. Take additional measures to protect workers who meet a criteria that puts them at increased risk during this pandemic, including individuals with preexisting conditions, individuals 60+, and pregnant people.

7. Provide all team members with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and implement a safe and standardized process for serving proper training on PPE. That must be provided by FedEx and other businesses.

8. Comply with all local health Department, Federal OSHA and NLRA regulations and workplace guidelines. Comply with all federal NLRA, OSHA and constitutional mandates, immediately cease all retaliation against workers and make visible workplace posting about the illegality of retaliation.​