By the time Connie Reynolds pulled her 18-wheeler into Cowboy Travel Plaza, she’d made the long haul up Interstate 35 from the Texas border town of Laredo to central Oklahoma and was looking forward to kicking back at a table and sampling the rest stop’s Smokey Pokey barbecue before heading to Wichita, Kan.
Chuck Stiles, director of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters' Solid Waste and Recycling Division, said he is also noticing the trend. At the same time, face protection is not at the level his organization would like to see for waste workers. The union included masks among PPE considered part of best practices for all waste workers in a recent document and Stiles believes the options provided should be more robust.
Today, April 28, is Workers’ Memorial Day, a day to remember workers killed or injured on the job and to fight for strong safety and health provisions for all workers. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, this day takes on an even deeper meaning.
In the Teamsters Bakery and Laundry Conference, most of the 19,300 members on the bakery side have been declared essential and are still working.
I am happy to report that since my last update we have been in consistent, productive communications with many of your employers. After sending letters out to major employers last month outlining best practices related to COVID-19, I have been in regular contact with Waste Management Inc. (WMI) and Waste Connections to ensure our members are protected on the job. Division representatives and local unions have also been in direct contact with Recology, a large Teamster employer in California.
COVID-19 News Update for April 24, 2020.
On April 13, with the help of donations from Project C.U.R.E. Chicago, the Teamsters Public Services Division was able to secure and deliver a large supply of masks and other PPE for members at the Cook County Department of Corrections (CCDOC) in Chicago. The Local 700 members have been on the front lines during this pandemic and have been in need of additional gear.
This is a rapidly evolving situation. This fact sheet will be updated online as needed. See links at the end of this fact sheet for the most up-to-date information.
COVID-19 is spreading rapidly within the United States. President Trump has declared the outbreak a national emergency, as have many states. Nurses and other healthcare workers are responding by caring for patients with COVID-19 in many communities. Protecting healthcare workers from exposure should be a high priority so that they can continue to care for patients without getting sick or spreading the infection to their communities.