COVID-19 Information for Workers

3/23/21: We have posted a summary of the American Rescue Plan Act. Of particular note for UE locals, this new legislation includes funding for paid sick and family leave and for premium hazard pay for essential workers — UE locals should be in touch with their assigned staff representative about negotiating measures with their employer to ensure these benefits continue or are instituted.

3/23/21: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has updated the COVID-19 section of their website. The website includes information about a new “National Emphasis Program” to ensure that employees in high-hazard industries or work tasks are protected from the hazard of contracting COVID-19 and new guidelines for mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

The February 2021 UE Steward contains updated guidance for UE stewards during the COVID-19 pandemic, with updated information about physical safety at work, vaccines, and representing members through online platforms.

The Department of Labor has posted a helpful Q&A about the extension of COVID-19 unemployment benefits contained in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Appropriations Act. The Act, which was signed into law on December 27, is far from the comprehensive relief bill working people need, but it provides some necessary stop-gap funding. Of particular importance for UE locals to note, if private-sector workplaces were granted paid sick and family leave by the Families First bill, then locals will need to take action to make sure it continues. Read our summary of the bill here.

COVID19 vaccinations will be an important issue for workers in 2021. Employers may make efforts to require employees to get vaccines. UE members who hear about such policies in their workplaces should contact their UE staff member immediately. While vaccinations are critical to getting normal life back on track, there will be a number of workplace issues that need to be properly addressed. Staff will be prepared to assist UE locals in dealing with an employer on those issues.

As our nation and our world take measures to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus/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.

In this section of our website you will find suggestions for maintaining local union functioningdemands locals should consider making on employers, and suggestions for what to do if COVID-19 comes into your workplace.

​Other COVID-19 Links