Newspaper, Magazine and Electronic Media Conference Update from Joe Molinero, Director, for April 22, 2020:
Many members of the newspaper conference continue to work due to the newspaper industry being classified as “essential”. Furloughs and layoffs are occurring, though, as advertisers cease operations. The amount of newspapers typically carried at grocery stores has increased, however, because consumers are apparently buying these when they are food shopping as opposed to buying them at a newsstand near their offices.
Unfortunately, the conference heard that a member of Local 1100 in New Jersey, with members working in the mailroom of the New Jersey Star Ledger newspaper, died as a result of COVID-19. The president of the local, Steve Grant, had been in contact with management about the necessity of having extra cleaning done as well as other measures to protect employees. Getting little response from management Grant contacted OSHA who brought a formal complaint against the newspaper. Within a day extra cleaning was taking place and employees began to have their temperatures screened.
The IBT's Safety and Health Department has published some fact sheets that are very helpful. One in particular, "The Union’s Role in the Workplace", can be accessed here. https://teamster.org/sites/default/files/ibtsafetyandhealthcovid19unionsroleinworkplacepreparationkm.pdf Another fact sheet, "Exposed and Infected Workers Rights and Employers Responsibilities" can be accessed here: https://teamster.org/sites/default/files/4920covid19covid19positiveworker.pdf and gives valuable information should someone in your workplace become infected.