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Working people are being infected at work and dying from COVID-19 in every sector.

Statement from Stephanie Bloomingdale, President of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, on Governor Evers' statewide masking order: 

Help turn out the union vote for Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and pro-worker candidates up and down the ballot for the November 3, 2020 Presidential el

The president of the Utility Workers Union of America called yesterday for a federal infectious disease standard for the workplace as one member of his union described being "terrified" of working during the coronavirus pandemic. The push for a federal standard by James Slevin, whose union has about 50,000 members, followed legal action this week by the AFL-CIO that aims to force the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue an emergency temporary standard for infectious diseases. "We definitely need this today," Slevin told reporters on a conference call.

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler said the union is using the pandemic to galvanize Amazon workers at company headquarters and enlist support from elected officials. Amazon had over 53,000 employees in Seattle in 2019. “Amazon’s backyard is Seattle, and that’s a major focus for us in terms of how to take the energy, the courage, the activism that we are already seeing there and build that into a real movement,” she said.

We are collecting stories about how COVID-19 has impacted Wisconsin workplaces.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to workers and families. It has also revealed serious holes in worker protections and government policy – especially on-the-job safety standards and organizing rights.

With states reopening for business and millions of people heading back to work, the nation's largest labor organization is demanding the federal government do more to protect workers from contracting the coronavirus on the job.

What's happening: The AFL-CIO, a collection of 55 unions representing 12.5 million workers, says it is suing the federal agency in charge of workplace safety to compel them to create a set of emergency temporary standards for infectious diseases.

Even Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia’s recent letter to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, intended to defend his agency’s performance, offers little in terms of real enforcement. The word “guidance” and its variant “guidelines” appear nine times, as well as the observation that “employers are implementing measures to protect workers” (emphasis in original). Absent from the letter: the word “citation.” The word “penalty.”
“This isn’t just about infection control, which is how the CDC looks at it, this is about exposure assessment,” said Rebecca Reindel, safety and health specialist with the labor organization AFL-CIO. “You look at how people are exposed. Your main source of exposure is other people and so where you’re mainly running into other people right now is the workplace.”

(May 13, 2020, 6:19 p.m.) -- Wisconsin AFL-CIO President Stephanie Bloomingdale released the following statement as the Wisconsin Supreme Court rules 4-3 to block Wisconsin’s life-saving Safer at Home policy.

“This cynical lawsuit brought by Wisconsin legislative Republican leadership was never about policy responses to a pandemic. It was all about taking away authority from our duly elected Governor Evers. What a shame, again, for our great state to have politicians playing partisan games at the expense of regular people.

Every labor communicator is responding to minute-by-minute changes in policies and practices affecting workers’ livelihoods. ILCA members are challenged to process, manage, and disseminate essential information to both internal and external audiences. Just by doing our work, labor communicators are producing real-time, textbook examples of crisis communications case studies. In this new series, we’ll profile national newsmakers who are amplifying labor’s call to protect the physical and economic health of workers.