Backbone of Silicon Valley: Hilda Hernandez
Hilda Hernandez is a McDonald's employee who worked during the COVID-19 pandemic. File photo.

Editor’s Note: Backbone of Silicon Valley is a first-of-its-kind video storytelling project. Our reporters spent a year documenting the plight of six essential workers in Silicon Valley—the unsung heroes who clean your house, pack your groceries and prescriptions, cook your food, work in hospitals and deliver your meals. San José Spotlight teamed up with filmmakers to tell their stories. Check our video page for new mini documentaries posting Mondays and Wednesdays in December.

Hilda Hernandez, a fast food worker at a Gilroy McDonald’s for more than 20 years, showed up at work every day fearing she would contract the deadly coronavirus.

When her employer failed to provide face masks and enough sick days, Hernandez felt she had only one choice: strike.

“They don’t care that we are here to help them make money,” she said. “You are a worker (to them) and that is all.”

She says there are many more workers who are treated badly just like her, but are afraid to speak out—she’s fighting for them.

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