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(WASHINGTON) – The following is a statement from Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa about legislation introduced yesterday by House Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and others that would require the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard that establishes a legal obligation for all workplaces to implement infectious disease exposure control plans to keep workers safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
“More than a million essential Teamster workers are going to work each day during this COVID-19 pandemic to make sure Americans have access to health care, food and other necessary supplies they need. They are also picking up the trash so we all can live in sanitary conditions at a time when many more people are staying home.
“These hardworking Americans, and many others like them, are putting their lives on the line for us. The very least our elected officials can do is to ensure that employers are doing all they can to protect these workers. But right now, that isn’t happening. That’s why it is important for Congress to act quickly to change it.
“H.R. 6559, the COVID-19 Every Worker Protection Act, would create an enforceable standard overseen by OSHA to protect workers from airborne infectious diseases like the coronavirus. It would bring those added protections to public sector workers in 24 states where workers aren’t covered by the federal agency.
“Elected officials must take a stand for those who are standing up for us – NOW.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.