Employment and Jobs

Maureen Conway Talks COVID-19, Benefits, and ‘Essential’ Work on Marketplace

April 15, 2020  • Economic Opportunities Program

Despite being considered ‘essential’ during the COVID-19 crisis, many frontline workers—such as in grocery stores, transportation, delivery, and food service—lack key benefits like health insurance, hazard pay, and sick leave. Maureen Conway (Executive Director, Economic Opportunities Program) shared her insights on Marketplace. Here’s a snippet of the story:

Doctors and nurses are on the front lines fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. But as Marketplace has been covering, many other workers also provide essential services… The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the concerns of grocery store stockers and cashiers, package and restaurant delivery folks and food-service workers…

Maureen Conway, executive director of the Economic Opportunities Program at the Aspen Institute, said the pandemic has changed the political discourse around benefits for low-wage workers.

“But I’m not seeing companies sort of step up and say, ‘We’re changing our policies in terms of our health insurance plans and coverage’ as much as I’m seeing some action on the hazard pay and paid sick,” Conway said… “We are now newly recognizing grocery store workers and delivery drivers as valued workers,” she said. “How do we really, truly value that work going forward?”

Click here to read more. (Photo courtesy of Marketplace. Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images)


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Despite being on the frontlines of #COVID19, many ‘essential’ workers (in grocery stores, delivery, and food service) lack key benefits like health coverage, hazard pay, and sick leave. Learn more from @conway_maureen on @Marketplace.

“We are now newly recognizing grocery store workers and delivery drivers as valued workers… How do we really, truly value that work going forward?” Hear @conway_maureen talk #COVID19 and essential benefits on @Marketplace.


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