COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic, and the disease is spreading rapidly across the United States. Federal, state and local governments are taking steps to slow the spread of the disease by limiting crowds in public settings, such as schools, workplaces, public transportation, and cultural and sporting events. These necessary measures not only disrupt everyday life, but cause economic uncertainty for millions of working people.
The labor movement is working nonstop to protect the health and safety of all workers, including workers on the front lines of this public health emergency. We have trained, educated and equipped our members with the tools they need to be safe on the job, but we are demanding additional urgent action to ensure employers implement comprehensive plans to protect front-line workers and reduce the risk of exposure to the general public.
This crisis has exposed the shortcomings of our worker protection and health care systems. We cannot afford to allow cost considerations to discourage workers from taking the necessary action to protect public health. Workers should not incur additional costs for doing what is recommended or required, including staying home from work or getting the tests and treatments they need.
The pandemic also is beginning to inflict a heavy toll on the economy. We are doing everything we can to limit the negative impact on the livelihoods of working people, and we continue to demand dramatic action from local, state, and federal governments on a scale every bit as large as the threat.
Below are resources and guidance from leading experts, government agencies and America’s unions about the COVID-19 pandemic, and recommendations to limit its impact on working families.