Workers delivering vital public services have been stepping up in countless ways during the COVID-19 pandemic. They are working to protect us all. And they must be fully protected themselves.
CUPE welcomes the news that the federal government is tackling the shortage of personal protective equipment and other needed medical supplies. Many CUPE members are working with infected (or potentially infected) people, including frontline health care workers, acute care providers, long-term care workers, paramedics, flight attendants and public transit workers.
“Protecting workers on the frontlines of this crisis is job one for our union. It’s urgent that everyone with risk of exposure has the equipment they need to be safe. Right now, we’re hearing about shortages. That has to stop. Workers need to know they can count on having the protective equipment they need, now,” says CUPE National President Mark Hancock.
The federal government must also help manage any new supplies. Workers should not have to ration or fight over this crucial equipment. CUPE will be monitoring this situation closely and continue advocating for the health and safety of all our members, including pressing the government for stronger action to meet demand if needed.
“Workers must have the tools to take every precaution possible to protect themselves, the people they are caring for and serving, as well as their family and community. We will keep pushing for action to ensure all our members are protected as they do their jobs,” says CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury.