Are you in a mid-week rut, unsure what to write about? Are you working on your content calendar? Here are some article ideas for ya!
Workers that keep essential businesses running want more pay and better protection…
Instacart shoppers went on strike amid demands for free protective gear, a $5-an-order hazard payment, a push to increase the default tip amount and calls for changes to the sick pay policy.
- First, Instacart extended its paid leave program and offered bonuses and batch promotions.
- Then, the company announced it’s having a manufacturer make hand sanitizer for its shoppers and it changed default tipping.
- Ultimately, Instacart said it wasn’t phased by the strike and sold more groceries than ever.
Amazon workers also went on strike Monday.
- The company fired the individual who led the strike in Staten Island.
- But Amazon’s tech workers are demanding the company do right by people and threatened not to work for the company if it doesn’t.
Then, on Tuesday, Whole Foods (which is owned by Amazon) scheduled a mass sick-out to add pressure to workers’ demands, such as calls to the sick policy and double pay for the hazards of working during the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, Walmart and Target workers are concerned about their working conditions and the lack of paid time off, but they say their employers don’t seem to give a damn.
This week, Walmart said it will start taking employees’ temperatures–once thermometers arrive but that will take weeks in some cases. And, the company will offer gloves and “high-quality” masks, as “supplies permit.”
In some cases, unions are stepping in…
- UFCW Local 1518 in Canada is calling on British Columbia to offer grocery workers, pharmacy workers, industrial food producers, and home care assistants the same childcare benefits as offered to other essential workers.
- UFCW Canada pressed meat producers at Olymel, Cargill, and Maple Leaf Foods for premium pay increases and more safety protections.
- Teamsters is calling out Canada for not doing enough to protect railroad workers.
Questions that are likely burning in the mind of your readers:
- What rights and protections do workers have? Do you have to report to work if your workplace is unsafe?
- Can companies can be held liable for endangering their employees?
- Can companies be held liable for endangering the public?
- Are employers proactive or simply being reactive to pressure?
- Are employers going beyond the minimum?
- And are companies hiring thousands of employees to address consumer demand? Or are they amassing pools of replacements for employees they expect to get sick?
Speaking of protection, players in the fashion industry are committing to make gear…
L.L. Bean workers are turning dog bed liners into masks for MaineHealth.
Fanatics is taking the mesh normally used jerseys to make masks and gowns for hospitals in Pennsylvania and others states.
Carhartt will produce 50,000 medical gowns and 2.5 million masks.
LVMH will use its perfume production lines to make free hand sanitizer.
And New Balance said it’ll make masks but doesn’t know where or when.
Companies in other industries are jumping onboard too
- American Leather Holdings will go from making upholstery to gowns and masks.
- General Motors is ramping up to the ability to make 1.5 million medical masks a month and expects to ship the first 20,000 next week. GM is also partnering with Ventec Life Systems to make ventilators.
Here are images you can download for your story.
- Ford plans to crank out 50,000 ventilators in 100 days and then make 30,000 a month.
- Tesla, Dyson and Virgin Orbit have also announced plans to make ventilators.
- TJ Snuggles started making mattress covers.
- Winnebago Industries converted a production line to produce masks.
- Ranger Ready started making hand sanitizer spray and is devoting the first 20,000 units to Colorado.
- Olympus Group is making face shields for medical workers, aiming for 100,000 in next few weeks.
- Jockey International is making gowns for medical workers and face masks for the Kenosha Fire Department.
- Nisco went from making automotive seals to making gowns, sanitizers and antiseptics.
- Even Inmates in Tennessee are making gowns for medical staff across their state.
While we’re talking about masks…
The FDA approved mask sterilizing technology.
- Who offers it?
- How does it work?
- Is it really effective?
- What other countries are using it?
- What convinced the FDA to act?
Let the people know.
There are a lot of challenges getting goods from producers to consumers…
And you could write about those. Here are some examples:
- Across the globe, the migrant workers that farms and fisheries rely on are hindered by quarantines, border restrictions and governments not wanting to issue visas or imposing new rules.
- Truckers are facing a growing number of problems ranging from difficulty finding food and restrooms to getting stuck with loads bound for businesses that have closed.
- Capacity for air freight declined and pushed up prices, complicating international trade.
- Producers have been struggling with a shortage of cargo containers. A major Philippines’ port is at risk of shutting down because of it.
- And like consumers, governments are hoarding food and restricting exports.
- Plus, four companies that handle ground ops at UK airports claim they’re on the verge of collapse and that could have implications for the international supply chain.
What are those implications? Are ground ops struggling in other countries?
You could also come from another angle and focus on supply shortages…
Coffee traders are bracing for supply disruptions.
And a global condom shortage is on the way, one producer forewarned.
Furthermore, the supply of some medications is already tightening, and India banned exports of 26 drugs and drug ingredients.
Plus, industry insiders are also sounding the alarm about a potential cardboard shortage that could impact food distribution and delivery operations.
Or, how about decisions that just damn foolish…
Jerry Falwell defiantly reopened Liberty University’s campus in Lynchburg, VA after spring break. As of Friday, March 27, at least 11 students have symptoms suggesting they have the coronavirus and one has tested positive.
A man accused of spreading the coronavirus in Argentina is facing up to 15 years in prison.
Not enough article ideas? OK. Let’s roll…
- Four countries are testing a century-old TB vaccine to combat the coronavirus.
- In some places, selling guns is deemed essential. Why’s that?
- Facebook committed another $100 million to help news outlets on top of the $300 million it already promised. Who’s getting that money? How are they using it? Is it affecting our news?
- Newspapers can also get a piece of the federal stimulus package, but unfortunately, it may be too late for some.
- And have you noticed that many publications with paywalls are offering coronavirus content for free? Where did that trend come from?
- Sex workers in the UK are going broke. That issue probably isn’t getting a lot of press. And it raises, an interesting question–Now that Nevada brothels are closed, how are those workers faring. That probably isn’t getting much coverage either.