News | Press Releases

New Essential Worker CDC Guidelines Threaten Health of Teamsters, Public

4.9.20cdcreleasephoto

Press Contact: Ted Gotsch Phone: (703) 899-0869 Email: [email protected]

(WASHINGTON) – New Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines that reduce safeguards for essential workers whose colleagues are diagnosed with COVID-19 must be reversed, as they jeopardize the health and safety of those on the job and threaten to further expose coronavirus to the general public at a time the illness is reaching its peak.

Teamsters and others who work in the food supply chain, as well as those working in the health care and waste industries, deserve to be protected as they perform their necessary duties. It makes no sense for the CDC to change direction now after previously siding with these frontline workers who are keeping America running during this moment of crisis. We need to protect these workers so they can do the job of protecting the rest of us.

“In these challenging times, all government agencies, especially the CDC, should be supporting those who continue to risk their well-being by doing essential jobs that are allowing their fellow Americans to keep their families safe and fed,” Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said. “This new CDC guidance flies in the face of that and needs to be overturned now.”

Workers across the country who have not received proper protections from their employers have previously walked off the job, saying their health is not worth the risk. That has left some grocery stores, warehouses and medical facilities understaffed, which also threatens the public. Hardworking Americans deserve proper personal protective equipment, disinfected work spaces and to be given paid time-off when they are exposed to the virus, not forced to remain on the job unless they show symptoms.

“It is not right to ask workers who have worked with colleagues diagnosed with COVID-19 to remain on the job,” said Lamont Byrd, Director of the Teamsters’ Health and Safety Department. “It’s not safe for them and it’s not safe for this country.”

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.