And Need Enforceable Protections
An Urgent Request to Governor Northam
Over the past few weeks, the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board has met three times to discuss issuing emergency temporary standards to protect Virginia’s workers from COVID-19 in the workplace. As Virginia continues to re-open, this is more important than ever. Virginia’s essential workers and those returning first to their jobs are disproportionately people of color and potentially vulnerable to COVID-19 without emergency standards. Join us to demand better conditions for all workers in Virginia. Thus far, the Board has determined that the situation surrounding COVID-19 in Virginia is a “grave danger,” such that emergency temporary standards are necessary.
On July 15th, the Board will meet again to continue deliberating and voting on amendments to the standards. Importantly, at the July 7th meeting, through heavy lobbying from employers, the Board reversed an earlier vote and voted for an amendment to allow employers to apply weak CDC standards instead of the enforceable, much more protective temporary standards specific to Virginia that will go into effect in conjunction with the amendment.
CDC guidelines have already been shown to be ineffective in protecting workers. In the Virginia poultry industry alone, more than 1,000 workers have contracted COVID-19 and 10 workers have died. Virginia must go beyond the CDC guidelines to protect workers going forward, and provide for clear, science-based safety standards to mandate protections.
To make sure that happens, we need your help. Governor Northam has done admirable work directing the Department of Labor and Industry to issue these emergency temporary standards, but we need him to push to rectify the July 7th CDC amendment.
If you want to help fight for the health and safety of Virginia’s workers, please send Governor Northam a letter now urging him to support workers and call for the following of mandatory protection. Feel free to use the below draft as is or edit as you wish. The more letters that are unique, the more powerful they are! Please add in your information and then click send!