ICYMI: Unions Testify on Worker Protections in Reopening PA Debate

This week, Pennsylvania union leaders from AFSCME, AFT, PASNAP, SEIUHCPA, and UFCW Local 1776 KS testified before a Joint Senate and House Democratic Policy Committee Hearing on issues that must be addressed to protect workers on the job during our Commonwealth’s reopening.

President Rick Bloomingdale and representatives from affiliate unions were invited to bring the issues workers face on the job in front of the state legislature. We thank Senator Boscola, Representative Sturla, and the committee members for hearing these concerns and we implore them to take action on behalf of PA workers.

Here is an excerpt from President Rick Bloomingdale’s testimony:

“We must follow science and common sense, not partisanship.  We must readjust the way we value workers and our community’s well-being.  Just like it took time for people to buckle up and to wear protective gear on the job site, these changes will take time as well. The problem is that, in a pandemic, time is in short supply to get this right. 

While it is crucial to get the economy moving again, we must ensure the implementation of comprehensive safety precautions across all sectors of the workforce. Science must anchor our approach, as our understanding of this virus continues to evolve.  We are right to be concerned about our jobs and the economic health of our Commonwealth. And the solution is obvious.  We must acknowledge that failing to bring COVID-19 under control and prevent its spread is the greatest threat to the future of our Commonwealth’s economy and our community.    

Workplace safety is a fundamental factor in getting our pandemic under control and reopening our economy.  This virus is no less of a threat to workplace health and safety than a building without fire exits, or a construction site without hard hats.  Yet, the situation today in many workplaces is no different than it was in every industry before workers had a voice at the table.”