Bartolomé Perez has made countless vats of fries and flipped more burgers than he cares to remember in his 30 years of working at a McDonald's in Los Angeles.
In that time, he's joined several strikes to demand higher wages and better benefits for workers. But the stakes felt very different during the coronavirus pandemic.
"We are between life and death," Perez says, speaking in Spanish. "You know that every time you go out, it could be your last ... it could be the most expensive hamburger you make in your life."
Perez helped stage a walkout at his restaurant in April after a coworker tested positive for COVID-19. It was part of a big wave of protests by low-wage workers in retail, food and delivery.
Protesting workers were demanding more access to protections against the virus, like masks and disinfectant. That's in addition to other demands they raised long before the pandemic, like higher pay, more predictable schedules, better health care and other benefits.