CWA joined other unions and environmental groups this week to file an emergency rule-making legal petition demanding that the Trump administration take action to provide adequate masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to essential workers.
The petition, led by the Center for Biological Diversity, demands that top Trump officials act immediately to ensure the manufacturing and distribution of adequate PPE. Trump has refused to properly manage PPE production and distribution, leaving states and industry to compete and frontline workers short of supplies. The petition requests a response from the administration within 15 days, and if they fail to respond, the groups could sue in federal court to compel a response.
"As states reopen and the number of COVID-19 illnesses and hospitalizations continues to rise to unprecedented levels, we need the President of the United States to stop abdicating his responsibility to protect workers who are putting their lives on the line to do their jobs," said CWA President Chris Shelton. "Leaving workers to fend for themselves while there are grave shortages of adequate PPE during a pandemic is unacceptable and un-American. CWA members and all workers need Donald Trump to do something useful for once and order the cronies he's put in charge of the federal government to use every tactic within their power to get PPE produced and distributed."
"Although in New York we're past the initial surge, the PPE situation for workers is still an urgent problem. We're still facing a shortage of N95 masks, gowns, and other crucial PPE," said CWA Local 1168 Director of Health and Safety Denise Abbott, an ER nurse at Kaleida Health in Buffalo. "Employers have still not been able to return to normal standards of care and PPE use because they are afraid of running out of supplies again if there is another surge. We need to ramp up production of crucial PPE now."