-19, protect workers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 16, 2020
Gov’t must act now to stop the spread of COVID-19, protect workers
The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour is joining with unions, labour leaders, and health care professionals in urging the provincial government to take immediate action to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the province.
“Over the past few weeks, the number of active COVID 19 cases have grown rapidly, and our health care system is at capacity,” said SFL President Lori Johb. “Healthcare workers in our hospitals and long term care facilities are feeling strained and overworked, teachers and education workers in overcrowded classrooms are worried about the health and safety of themselves and their students, and frontline workers in grocery stores and gas stations are also putting themselves at a higher risk as the virus continues to spread. The provincial government needs to take swift action immediately to control the spread of the virus and make sure that all frontline workers are kept safe.”
Johb said that some additional measures the provincial government needs to implement immediately include:
- Mandatory masking province-wide and increased testing capacity
- Take measures to ensure the healthcare system is not overloaded and health care workers are not overwhelmed, including considering scaling back elective surgeries if necessary and ensuring that long term care facilities are appropriately staffed
- Ensure paid sick leave for all workers so that they can stay home if they are sick or need to self-isolate
- Ensure all workers are protected and have access to the proper personal protective equipment they need to do their jobs safely
- Reduced classroom sizes, suspension of extra-curricular activities and mandatory masking for all students across the province.
“It’s time for our provincial government to listen to the advice of healthcare professionals and frontline workers,” Johb said. “We’ve seen what has happened in other provinces that have mismanaged their response and caused cases to skyrocket as a result. It’s time to take action now, before its too late.”