Desert Sage column

Teamsters Local 856 Albert Zamora, left, Mauricio Ocegueda and Manuel Rodriguez hold pickets signs near the entrance to Diamond Foods in Stockton, Calif. this summer. (Photo: CALIXTRO ROMIAS/THE STOCKTON RECORD)

To the extent daily life resembles what was “normal” six months ago, it is because wage workers are risking their health and even their lives.

During the pandemic they deliver packages, ring up groceries, staff convenience stores and pharmacies; they tend to the sick and injured in hospitals; they provide maintenance and repair, manufacture parts and appliances, harvest and package food; and they pilot the trucks, trains and ships that move goods around.

Writing in labor news outlet The Stand in April, the Teamsters’ Jamie Fleming offered a side-by-side comparison of two food processing plants in the state of Washington — a tale of two