‘We’re exposing ourselves’: Restaurant workers fear safety as indoor dining reopens – SF Gate

Restaurant News

Photo of Madeline Wells

A waiter serves lunch to customers indoors at Junior's Restaurant, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, in New York.

A waiter serves lunch to customers indoors at Junior’s Restaurant, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, in New York.Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

A few weeks ago, San Francisco reopened indoor dining at 25% capacity, following several other Bay Area counties as COVID-19 restrictions eased. However, some restaurant workers don’t feel safe with this shift.

Maria Moreno, a community organizer at the Bay Area Restaurant Opportunity Center, told KTVU that more than half of the workers she has spoken with said they feel unsafe at work during the pandemic. A restaurant manager in Contra Costa County also told KTVU that he did not feel comfortable with the safety of serving diners indoors, and that indoor dining shouldn’t reopen until rapid testing or a vaccine is available.

“We’re exposing ourselves every day,” said the manager, who did not wish to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media. “We’re serving plates, we’re serving drinks. You know, people aren’t wearing masks, and it’s impossible to enforce.”

Laurie Thomas, executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, told KTVU that she is “hopeful” about San Francisco’s cautious reopening of indoor dining, and that it is a necessary step to preserve business.

“We’re just gonna have to see what happens, and we’re gonna have to try,” she said. “And if it doesn’t work, and if we go backwards, we will shut the city back down. And nobody wants that to happen.”

Thomas also said that if restaurant workers feel unsafe with indoor dining, they shouldn’t work — but quitting isn’t so simple. If workers quit their jobs, they typically can’t collect unemployment, a labor lawyer told KTVU.

Read the full KTVU story here.

Source: Thanks https://www.sfgate.com/food/article/Restaurant-workers-fear-indoor-dining-safety-COVID-15640155.php