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MAHCP on New Public Health Order for PCHs

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals -

MAHCP has been in ongoing discussions with Employer representatives and other health care unions regarding the issue of limiting health care providers to operating in only one licensed personal care home (PCH) in order to limit the risk of spreading COVID-19 to vulnerable PCH residents.

The new government policy limiting employee movement between PCH sites was officially announced by Shared Health officials earlier this week and is due to take effect this Friday, May 1, 2020.

MAHCP has been awaiting details on which, if any, Allied Health staff may be affected by this new policy. Today we received a copy of the new public health order, click here for your review, that will govern the policy.

The order confirms that most Allied Health staff are exempted from the policy. In other words, most MAHCP members should not be limited to one PCH site. The exceptions for specific Allied Health professions are listed on page four of the attached order and are as follows:

  • Dietitians;
  • Laboratory Technicians [outdated term, but we assume this applies to MLTs and MLAs];
  • Paramedics;
  • Pharmacists;
  • Other health professionals who visit personal care homes to provide health care services, such as Physiotherapists and Occupation Therapists;
  • Social Workers;
  • Chaplains and Spiritual Care Providers.

If you expect you will need to work in more than one PCH and you are not included in this list, please ask your manager for clarification. If you believe you are being limited to one PCH site in error, please request clarification from your manager.

If any questions remain, please feel free to contact your Labour Relations Officer for assistance.

Your MAHCP Team

UFCW Calls on All U.S. Governors to Enforce CDC Guidelines to Protect Food Supply and Meatpacking Workers From Coronavirus Outbreak

UFCW Press Releases -

Union for 250,000 Meatpacking Workers Calls on All States for Immediate Enforcement of Safety Standards As Trump Order Mandates Plants Remain Open 

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, which represents more than 250,000 meatpacking and food processing all across the country workers, sent a letter to National Governors Association as well as every state’s governor in the country, calling on governors to protect meatpacking and poultry workers during the coronavirus outbreak. The letter was sent as it was reported that President Trump was taking executive action to mandate that meatpacking and poultry plants remain open.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“Meatpacking and poultry workers have been working tirelessly through this health crisis so that millions of Americans continue to have access to the food they need. President Trump’s executive order now mandates that they continue to do so, without any language that ensures their safety. Let me be clear, the best way to protect America’s food supply, to keep these plants open, is to protect America’s meatpacking workers.  

“Every governor has the ability to take key steps and additional safety actions to protect these workers and it is imperative that they do so immediately. To protect our food supply and workers, strong, enforceable safety standards must be implemented in every meatpacking plant. These safety standards must ensure all workers have access to testing and personal protective equipment, social distancing is enforced, and paid sick leave is provided to all workers so that no one comes to work sick.  

“In order to protect our nation’s food supply as President Trump is calling for us to do, we must work together to keep the hard-working men and women in these plants safe. Now, more than ever, this must be a priority for all of our state and national leaders” 

Background:

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued guidelines on April 26 for meatpacking and poultry workers and employees. In the new letter to governors, UFCW calls the guidelines a step in the right direction but asks governors to both enforce those guidelines and issue additional protective measures.  

The complete letter which can be seen here calls on U.S. governors to enforce CDC guidelines and to issue the following additional measures to protect:

  • Enforce Physical Distancing: Plants must reconfigure the workplace to achieve physical distancing of at least 6 feet, between workers, both on the production floor and off.  Barriers, such as plexiglass barriers, should be used only to reinforce the 6 feet distancing, not as a substitute for 6 feet distancing.  CDC/OSHA does not make this statement, but this type of distancing may require the speed of the line to be reduced, in order to achieve a reduction or minimization in the spread of the virus.
  • Provide Respirators: All workers on the production floor should be provided with N-95 respirators, which will provide the level of protection needed to protect workers from inhaling virus particles.  Employers must additionally do the following to maintain the integrity of the respirators;
      1. Provide a new respirator at the beginning of every shift.
      2. Provide fit-testing.  Replace respirators if damaged or contaminated.
      3. Follow the current CDC guidelines for disinfecting and storing respirators, if respirators are reused.
      4. Provide training on proper donning and doffing procedures, in languages workers understand.
      5. Provide additional time for hand hygiene and for proper donning and doffing of respirators.
  • Provide Testing: All workers, including management, who are currently working in the plant, should be tested for COVID-19.  Ideally, rapid testing of workers, as they enter the workplace, would ensure that workers carrying the virus are not entering the workplace.
  • Provide Mandatory Paid Quarantine: Should a positive case of COVID-19 be identified in the workplace, those in close contact with the infected individual should be identified as well and paid to stay home for the full two weeks.  This would ensure more workers are not infected, or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
  • Protect Workers From Retaliation: The UFCW believes that strong, anti-retaliation protections must be in place in order to ensure that workers who feel ill, or who are suffering from COVID-19, can remain at home, in quarantine for the full period of time recommended by the CDC, until it is safe to return to work.  Workers must be encouraged to report any symptoms of illness, or of COVID-19, while at work, as well as any other safety and health hazards, and not suffer any negative consequences for doing so.  

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

UFCW Canada observes Asian Heritage Month – May 2020

UFCW Canada -

Toronto – April 29, 2020 – May marks the celebration of Asian Heritage Month, a time when we recognize the invaluable contributions of people of Asian descent to Canada’s social, political, economic, scientific, and cultural landscape. It is also a moment in which we acknowledge the resistance of people of Asian descent in Canadian history.

UFCW Canada observes Asian Heritage Month – May 2020

UFCW Canada -

Toronto – April 29, 2020 – May marks the celebration of Asian Heritage Month, a time when we recognize the invaluable contributions of people of Asian descent to Canada’s social, political, economic, scientific, and cultural landscape. It is also a moment in which we acknowledge the resistance of people of Asian descent in Canadian history.

COVID-19 Update #10: Premier continues to talk about work reduction scheme with few details

Manitoba Government & General Employees Union -

The only new information available about the Premier's proposals comes from his comments in the news media. Last week, he talked about 25% of public workers being impacted by his layoff and work reduction scheme. Yesterday, he told media: "I don't expect it to be anywhere near 10 per cent impact. The fact of the matter is, it'll be less than that, and it will vary by department."

Refinery workers reject Co-op’s so-called final offer

Unifor -

April 28, 2020

REGINA—After Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) snubbed the premier’s mediators and unilaterally forced a final contract vote on refinery workers, Unifor Local 594 members have voted 89 per cent against the contract.

“Co-op had every reason to be satisfied with the mediators’ recommendations, but they got greedy,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Regina’s refinery workers have sent a clear message to Premier Moe: impose the mediators’ recommendations and end this dispute.”

In March 2020, Premier Scott Moe appointed two independent mediators to review submissions from the union and the company and develop recommendations for a fair contract that should bring the lockout to a close. Members of Local 594 subsequently voted 98 per cent in favour of the mediated contract.

“The premier hired the most experienced mediators in the country. The premier should take the next logical step and implement the mediators’ recommendations,” said Kevin Bittman, President of Local 594.

More than 700 highly skilled refinery workers were locked out of the jobsite on December 5, 2019 for trying to bargain the same contract enjoyed by energy workers across Western Canada.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

To arrange for interviews, in-person or via Skype/Facetime, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell).

Unifor welcomes expanded access to emergency child care in Ontario

Unifor -

April 29, 2020

TORONTO—Unifor welcomes the Ontario government’s announcement today that it will expand access to emergency child care for essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In this pandemic, we’ve seen how crucial access to child care truly is to make it possible for essential workers to get to work, and keep the rest of us safe," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “The Ford government is doing the right thing by listening to workers and health experts in this pandemic who have specifically called for these measures to be implemented as quickly as possible.”

In a letter sent to Premier Ford and Minister of Education Stephen Lecce, Unifor called on the province to expand the list of workers eligible for emergency child care services including grocery workers, cleaners, public transit workers, taxi drivers, telecommunications workers, and other critical supply chain workers.

Today’s announcement includes truck drivers and workers in the food supply chain, retirement homes, interpreters and intervenors who support people who are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and deafblind, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) emergency personnel, Provincial officers and onsite staff in Ontario courts, Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence staff working in Ontario, and additional workers supporting public safety and correctional services.

“We have been asking for this measure because our members have told us from day one of this pandemic that this support was needed and the best way to show respect for essential workers is to listen to them,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor’s Ontario Director.

To arrange an interview via FaceTime or Skype, please contact Unifor Communications National Representative David Molenhuis at david.molenhuis@unifor.org or 416-575-7453 (cell).

UFCW: Trump Order to Keep Meatpacking Plants Open Must Include Immediate Action to Strengthen Coronavirus Testing and Safety Measures

UFCW Press Releases -

America’s Largest Meatpacking Union Calls on White House to Immediately Increase Worker Testing, Access to Protective Equipment, and Federal Oversight to Ensure the Safety of All U.S. Meatpacking Plants  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), America’s largest meatpacking union with 250,000 members across the industry, called on President Trump to take immediate action to support his new order that all meatpacking plants remain open during the coronavirus outbreak.  

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:  

“To protect America’s food supply, America’s meatpacking workers must be protected. The reality is that these workers are putting their lives on the line every day to keep our country fed during this deadly outbreak, and at least 20 meatpacking workers have tragically died from coronavirus while more than 5,000 workers have been hospitalized or are showing symptoms. For the sake of all our families, we must prioritize the safety and security of these workers.  

“While we share the concern over the food supply, today’s executive order to force meatpacking plants to stay open must put the safety of our country’s meatpacking workers first. Simply put, we cannot have a secure food supply without the safety of these workers. We urge the Administration to immediately enact clear and enforceable safety standards that compel all meatpacking companies to provide the highest level of protective equipment through access to the federal stockpile of PPE, ensure daily testing is available for workers and their communities, enforce physical distancing at all plants, and provide full paid sick leave for any workers who are infected. Additionally, to protect the food supply and ensure these safety standards for workers are enforced, these plants must be constantly monitored by federal inspectors and workers must have access to representation to ensure their rights are not violated. 

“All of our country’s elected leaders – federal and state – must work together to ensure that we keep these essential workers safe and our country’s food supply secure.” 

Background:  

In the last week, UFCW sent a letter to Vice President Pence urgently calling for the White House Coronavirus Task Force to prioritize five safety actions targeted toward the meatpacking industry, including: (1) increased worker testing, (2) priority access to PPE, (3) halting line speed waivers, (4) mandating social distancing, and (5) isolating workers with symptoms or testing positive for COVID-19. 

Today, new internal UFCW estimates have confirmed 20 worker deaths in meatpacking and food processing. In addition, at least 5,000 meatpacking workers and 1,500 food processing workers have been directly impacted by the virus. Those directly impacted include individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, missed work due to self-quarantine, are awaiting test results, or have been hospitalized, and/or are symptomatic. 

UFCW announced today that new estimates show 22 meatpacking plants have closed – including union and non-union plants – at some point in the past two months. These closures have resulted in over 35,000 workers impacted and a 25 percent reduction in pork slaughter capacity as well as a 10 percent reduction in beef slaughter capacity

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

 

UFCW Releases Statement on Workers Memorial Day & Announces Worker Deaths from Coronavirus 

UFCW Press Releases -

America’s Largest Retail & Food Union Announces 72 Worker Deaths in Grocery, Retail, Meatpacking, and Other Industries; and Over 5,000 Workers Directly Impacted by Coronavirus During Outbreak

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), America’s largest food and retail union with 1.3 million members in grocery stores, pharmacies, meatpacking plants, and other essential businesses, released a new update on the growing number of frontline workers who have been exposed, sick, and died from COVID-19.

According to the UFCW’s internal reports, which were released on Workers Memorial Day, there have been at least 72 worker deaths and 5,322 workers directly impacted among UFCW members. This covers grocery, retail, pharmacy, meatpacking, and other essential industries and those directly impacted include workers who tested positive for COVID-19, missed work due to self-quarantine, are awaiting test results, or have been hospitalized, and/or are symptomatic.

On Workers Memorial Day, UFCW is calling on America’s elected and corporate leaders, as well as American shoppers, to take immediate steps to protect these workers before more lives are lost.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“America’s frontline workers in grocery stores, pharmacies, meatpacking plants, and many other essential businesses are putting their lives on the line every day to ensure families have the food and medicine they need to stay safe during this crisis. These workers never signed up to be first responders in an emergency, but that is exactly what they are now and they need protections immediately before more lives are needlessly lost.

“The human cost to America’s food, retail, and commercial workers is real and growing. From grocery stores to meatpacking plants, from senior care facilities to pharmacies, the impact on workers’ lives from this coronavirus is beyond tragic – and this crisis must be stopped before it gets worse.

“As we remember all of America’s brave frontline workers, across every industry, who have died from COVID-19, we are calling on all of our country’s leaders in the White House, in Congress, and states across the country to strengthen safety standards and take immediate action to protect the millions of workers who are keeping our communities strong throughout the crisis. American lives are on the line. We cannot wait any longer. We need action now.”

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

CAUT marks Day of Mourning

CAUT -

(Ottawa – April 28, 2020) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) stands with unions and employee associations across the country to observe this year’s National Day of Mourning in recognition of workers killed or injured on the job.

Nearly five million workers in Canada have been deemed essential during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a number of frontline workers already losing their lives to the virus. The crisis has starkly revealed inequities in our workplaces, with many of those who risk their lives daily working for minimum wages, with few benefits, and in insecure positions.

Every employee has a right to safe working conditions, and fair compensation. On this Day of Mourning, CAUT calls on governments and employers everywhere to use the lessons being learned during this extraordinary time to rebuild a more equitable and better world.

UFCW: Tyson and All Meatpacking Companies Must Act Immediately to Protect American Workers & Food Supply

UFCW Press Releases -

Union Representing 250,000 Meatpacking Workers Calls for Industry to Strengthen Safety and Transparency, Support First Responder Status for These Workers on Frontlines

Union Announces New Numbers on Increase in Meatpacking Worker Deaths and Plant Closures During Coronavirus Outbreak  

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), America’s largest meatpacking union, called on Tyson and all companies in the industry to make good on the promise of the Tyson New York Times advertisement with immediate action to protect these frontline workers across the country. UFCW is calling on the meatpacking industry to strengthen transparency on plant safety and immediately join the union in calling for these workers to be designated as first responders during the outbreak.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“America’s meatpacking workers and our nation’s food supply are in greater danger every day that companies and leaders fail to act during this outbreak. It is clear that our food supply chain is threatened, and that is why our country’s elected and corporate leaders must act now.

“Tyson and every company across this vital industry, must immediately join with UFCW in calling for federal and state elected leaders to designate these frontline workers as first responders. Temporary first responder status ensures these workers have priority access to the COVID-19 testing and protective equipment they need to continue doing these essential jobs. Our federal leaders must enforce clear guidelines to ensure every employer lives up to the high safety standards these workers deserve and the American people expect.

“Meatpacking companies must increase transparency around their safety efforts to ensure that meatpacking workers, elected leaders, and the communities they serve know exactly what steps they are taking to keep workers safe and our food supply secure. Simply put, given the nature of this COVID-19 crisis, words are not enough. American workers and families across the country cannot wait any longer. Our elected leaders and companies across the industry must act now.”

Background:

In the last week, UFCW sent a letter to Vice President Pence urgently called for the White House Coronavirus Task Force to prioritize five safety actions targeted toward the meatpacking industry, including: (1) increased worker testing, (2) priority access to PPE, (3) halting line speed waivers, (4) mandating social distancing, and (5) isolating workers with symptoms or testing positive for COVID-19.

UFCW recently released new updates on the serious and deadly impact of the Covid-19 virus on meatpacking plants across the country, but those numbers have increased in recent days.

Today, new internal UFCW estimates have confirmed 20 worker deaths in meatpacking and food processing. In addition, at least 5,000 meatpacking workers and 1,500 food processing workers have been directly impacted by the virus. Those directly impacted include individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, missed work due to self-quarantine, are awaiting test results, or have been hospitalized, and/or are symptomatic.

UFCW announced today that new estimates show 22 meatpacking plants have closed – including union and non-union plants – at some point in the past two months. These closures have resulted in over 35,000 workers impacted and a 25 percent reduction in pork slaughter capacity as well as a 10 percent reduction in beef slaughter capacity.

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The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org

 

Locked out Unifor members hold car rally at Saskatchewan legislature

Unifor -

April 28, 2020

REGINA—Locked out members of Unifor Local 594 will hold a car rally at the legislature grounds on Wednesday to pressure the provincial government for a legislated solution to the 145-day lockout at the Co-op Refinery.

“By snubbing the report from the premier’s mediators, Co-op has demonstrated that it cannot be trusted to bargain nor end the lockout in good faith,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “We’re encouraging Premier Moe to show leadership and bring an end to this dispute.”

What: Rally for refinery workers and media availability

Who: Kevin Bittman, Unifor Local 594 President; locked out refinery workers, their families, and supporters

When: Wednesday, April 29 at 10 a.m. 

Where: The car rally will begin outside the Conexus Arts Centre and proceed to the Legislature. Media availability to take place in front of legislature.

Please note that rally organizers will be practicing strict social distancing. Members of the media who join for the media availability at the legislature are encouraged to use boom microphones.

Information about the union’s response to the pandemic, as well as resources for members can be found at unifor.org/COVID19.

To arrange for interviews, in-person or via Skype/Facetime, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at ian.boyko@unifor.org or 778-903-6549 (cell).

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