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Coronavirus Update: Target Workers To Hold Mass Sickout Friday In Protest Over Unsafe Conditions

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Front-line workers at Target plan to hold a mass sickout Friday in protest over what they call unsafe working conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group Target Workers Unite organized the nationwide strike and says that captains in more than 150 stores have signed on to participate. The group is seeking hazard pay to cover COVID-19 related health expenses and more limited foot traffic in stores.

Adam Ryan, who is with Target Workers Unite, says that the Minneapolis-based company isn't doing enough to protect him and his fellow co-workers from customers who aren't following social distancing guidelines.

"We are at high risk of exposure to this virus," he told WCCO. "We contend that even though Target is making these announcements that they are taking further safety precautions and compensating us, it's really just...smoke and mirrors."

Earlier this week, Target CEO Brian Cornell spoke with Gayle King on CBS This Morning, saying that the safety of his workers is his top priority.

"We have put up [plastic] shields at the checkout lane as you're checking out of our stores," he said. "There are decals on the floors making sure people are keeping the six feet of space that is so necessary right now."

Additionally, the company has invested more than $300 million in team member pay and benefits, including a $2 an hour wage increase that's slated to run through the end of the month.

Workers from other large retailers, such as Walmart and Amazon, are also expected to take part in Friday's protest.

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