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Teamster Health Care Workers in Michigan Fight for, Win Protective Equipment



When Teamsters Local 332 members who work at Ascension Genesys Medical Center were not getting the personal protective equipment (PPE), like face masks, that they needed to be safe on the job during the COVID-19 pandemic, Teamsters Local 332 sprung into action.

Teamsters Local 332 President and Teamsters Health Care Division Director Nina Bugbee sent a letter from the local union on behalf of the nurses and technicians group to the executive level of Ascension Genesys requesting protections for members who are working at the medical center during COVID-19.

Within one day of Bugbee and Local 332 members sending the letter and speaking out to local television reporters, Ascension Genesys responded with a notice that the medical center will procure needed face masks and allow workers to wear their own in the meantime, which they had previously been prohibited from doing.

“We are not here to fight with the companies. We are here because we need to work together to make sure our patients are safe and our health care members are safe. That is the number one priority and we will do everything we can; we will leave no stone unturned here in Michigan and across the country to ensure that health care workers can safely do their jobs,” Bugbee said. “Nurses, technicians, blood collections workers, every medical worker is critical every day of the year, but especially as the world is seeing, during this pandemic. They deserve our respect, and the very least they deserve from the companies they work for are the appropriate tools to be able to do their jobs.”