The recent Taco Tuesday Taco Bell deals may seem like a godsend for some. Unfortunately, Taco Bell employees are none too thrilled about the deal as it’s further putting them at risk to contract coronavirus.
The Tuesday deal has caused swarms of people to head to their local Taco Bell. It offers a free Doritos Locos Taco without purchasing anything at all.
AltPress reported on the first of Taco Bell’s Taco Tuesday deal two weeks ago. They then repeated it this past Tuesday and may very well offer a free Doritos Locos Taco every Tuesday of April.
But, Taco Bell employees are not happy about the deal. In fact, some are so unhappy that they’ve launched A Coworker.org petition regarding worker treatment during the coronavirus pandemic.
The petition specifically calls out the Taco Tuesday deal and its recklessness.
“Those of us that worked that day know it was the busiest we’ve seen the store since the Corona pandemic began and we have recently been informed they’re going to have another one on the 7th,” the petition says. “Corporate is literally encouraging people to come to their store in the midst of the pandemic![…] A business losing a few weeks to a month of business isn’t as important as endangering our lives and the lives of our children. By signing this petition we are standing together to demand management make changes before something happens to one of us. If one of us gets sick, we all get sick!”
The petition specifically requests that either Taco Bell close all of its stores. If not, it should provide payment to the employees until after the pandemic, or provide hazard pay (specifically a $3 raise) if the stores remain open.
A Taco Bell representative speaking with Business Insider said they are “very sensitive to our team members’ feedback, and we want them to know that we hear their concerns.”
“It’s very important to us that Taco Bell remains the safest place to work and eat,” the representative continued. “We are also doing our part to provide safe meals that our fans know and love – and throwing in a free DLT to show our appreciation. Even in tough times, restaurants are considered essential businesses because people will always need to eat. This offer is available via drive-thru and carry-out only, so person-to-person contact remains limited.”
One Taco Bell manager and two other employees reached out to Business Insider as well. They chose to remain anonymous but their employment was verified through pay stubs.
“If you ask me, I feel like the only thing the promotion did was cause one hundred extra customers to come in contact with us,” the manager said. He continued by calling the deal “the most painful and absurd thing they could’ve done during this time,” saying that 95% of those cashing in on the deal weren’t essential employees. The main argument for fast-food restaurants remaining open is to feed healthcare workers and others during the crisis.
The manager ended by saying the decision was not made with frontline employees in mind.
“My franchise is failing to pay us any more than we’re already making, however, they’re finding ways to increase sales volume. It seems that this decision was not based on the Team Member experience, whatsoever.”
Some employees have even expressed their dissatisfaction on social media.
Too bell doesn’t care for its employees, they using every opportunity to profit off this epidemic, and putting their employees at risk without fair compensation. Zero compensation at all.
— GG🤞🏻 (@Grimsom_knight) April 10, 2020
@tacobell this is disrespectful af. My employees and I have asked for hazard pay. Not shirts. We could wear shirts in our caskets which is cool I guess. But we want to be compensated for our efforts. pic.twitter.com/Xl1VbmBwaR
— Colton (@ZeR0kare) April 10, 2020
Hey @tacobell we work for you as employees and managers. What do we mean to you? Some kid makes 6 figures writing on your sauce packets and you can’t even pay us accordingly to the risks we undertake? Why?
— Colton (@ZeR0kare) April 10, 2020
Currently, the petition is over 1,000 signatures. The goal is set at 2,000. Whether or not Taco Bell will continue running the Taco Tuesday deal is still unknown.