As our nation and our world continue to take measures to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, workers need effective rank-and-file unions more than ever, to make sure workers’ voices are heard as decisions are being made which impact our health, our jobs, and our ability to provide for our families.
Wide variations in vaccination rates and public health measures, and the rise of variants, mean that local unions will need to remain flexible and use their judgement, based on local conditions, as to how best to protect their members.
The February 2021 UE Steward contains updated guidance for UE stewards during the COVID-19 pandemic, with information about physical safety at work, vaccines, and representing members through online platforms.
COVID19 vaccinations are an important issue for workers in 2021. As workers encounter vaccine mandates in the workplaces, UE locals should be prepared to negotiate over the impacts of these mandates. Information on the COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration can be found here.
In this section of our website you will find suggestions for maintaining local union functioning, demands locals should consider making on employers, and suggestions for what to do when COVID-19 comes into your workplace.
Other COVID-19 Links
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration continues to update the COVID-19 section of their website. The website includes information about the “National Emphasis Program” to ensure that employees in high-hazard industries or work tasks are protected from the hazard of contracting COVID-19 and guidelines for mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
- If you have questions about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, please talk directly with your doctor. You can also review these Frequently Asked Questions with answers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- A UE Steward’s Guide to Fighting COVID-19: Guiding our members through an unprecedented health and economic crisis.
- “The Fight of Our Lives,” an online toolkit to help workers who don't have a union take on their employers and demand a safe workplace during the pandemic.
- A summary of the American Rescue Plan Act, which went into law March 2021. While most provisions of this legislation have expired, some money appropriated in ARPA is still available.