Letter in Support of Worker Safety Bill

 

Earlier today DC JWJ alongside a coalition of unions, worker justice organizations, and community organizations urged the council to pass the Protecting Businesses and Workers from Covid-19 Emergency Amendment Act of 2020.

We the undersigned unions, worker justice organizations, and community organizations urge you to support the Protecting Businesses and Workers from Covid-19 Emergency Amendment Act of 2020. It is imperative that the DC Council act swiftly to pass this emergency legislation to ensure that the District can begin a safe and strong recovery.

When workers are safe our community is safe. A crucial component of a strong recovery is a sense of safety when DC residents go to work, shop, or dine out. We applaud the Mayor’s decision to require employers to provide face masks but more action is needed. This bill provides a basic set of protections to ensure that every District workplace takes the proper precautions to safeguard community health and the economy.

A safe return to work requires more than masks. In order for our members to feel safe at work they need all of the protections enacted by this law. Our members must have access to hand sanitizer, face shields, and plexiglass barriers when they can not be socially distanced. They also need to know that they are protected from retaliation for asking their employer to provide PPE or refusing to serve a customer who is not wearing a mask. Finally we appreciate that the bill allows both the Mayor and the Office of the Attorney General to carry out enforcement actions.

For many of the District’s most vulnerable workers this bill could mean the difference between health and serious illness. We commend Councilmember Silverman for working with labor on crafting these urgently needed protections and we ask that you join us in supporting the passage of this bill.

Sincerely,

Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network

Carpenters Local 197

Catholic Labor Network

Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR/SEIU)

DC Chapter, National Lawyers Guild

DC Federation of Musicians Local 161-710

DC Fiscal Policy Institute

DC Jobs with Justice

DC KinCare Alliance

DC Nurses Association

First Shift Justice Project

Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, & Empowerment

I.A.T.S.E. Local 22

Jews United for Justice

Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor

Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

LiUNA Local 11

Metro D.C. Democratic Socialists of America

Mid-Atlantic Pipe Trades

National Association of Government Employees

National Employment Law Project

National Writers Union, DC Area Chapter

Nonprofit Professional Employees Union

ONE DC

Restaurant Opportunities Centers of DC

SEIU 1199

SEIU 32BJ

SEIU Local 500

Teamsters Local 639

The Fair Budget Coalition

UNITE HERE Local 23

UNITE HERE Local 25

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400

Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs

Washington Teachers’ Union

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