What should I do if my workplace is unsafe?
Employers are required by law to maintain a workplace free of recognized dangers, such as coronavirus exposure. Unionized workers usually have contractual rights to health and safety too, but ALL workers have some basic rights.
If you are a member of Local 200United (or any union) and think your employer is not upholding their responsibility to provide a safe work site, consult your contract (you likely have a right to refuse to work in an unsafe environment) and contact your union steward or representative immediately.
If you are not currently a union member, you still have the right to demand safe working conditions! Federal law gives private sector workers the right to engage in “concerted activity” to improve their working conditions without retaliation. Basically, this means that the boss can’t legally fire or punish employees who are working together towards a common goal related to their jobs. Bosses don’t always follow the rules though, so we highly encourage you to reach out to us so we can support you.
I’m a healthcare worker. #GetMePPE!
Personal protective equipment, or PPE, is vitally important to protect healthcare workers from respiratory diseases like covid-19, and it is in scandalously short supply in New York and across the country.
SEIU members across the country are working tirelessly to find sources of PPE, but the scope of the problem demands a robust solution from corporations and the government. Take action to demand PPE for healthcare workers.
After this crisis is over, we must organize to ensure such a shortage never happens again. Public health experts have been pointing out the danger for years, but corporate greed and spineless politicians did nothing about it – and now it’s a tragedy. Add your voice to the thousands of healthcare workers and community members demanding that the Trump administration and corporations act now.
Should I wear a mask at work?
Yes. The CDC’s guidance regarding masks changed in early April to now recommend that everyone wear a cloth face covering if they must leave their homes. Note that people who are not sick or caring for someone sick should not use medical-grade masks, especially the N95 respirator masks, because those are badly needed by healthcare workers. The CDC offers these instructions on making DIY masks at home.
All workers have a right to a safe working environment and Local 200United calls upon employers to implement this CDC guidance for their employees by Monday, April 13, 2020.