Sisters and Brothers,
I want to address some of the comments and questions I’ve been hearing over the past few days concerning testing for the COVID-19 virus. Last week, UAW International staff members in Michigan received COVID-19 testing.
I have heard some pretty strong comments from members concerning our staff having access to the testing. I want to address this quickly and directly. The UAW, just like the companies, is an employer. And just like the companies, we are responsible for our employees’ health and safety while they are in the workplace. The International staff has had two confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the nature of their jobs requires that they travel to multiple member locations and worksites. Staff received both the nasal swab and serological tests.
We must lead by example in this unprecedented situation. We have made it crystal clear to the companies that the health and safety of our members must be the top priority as we plan for the restart of our economy. In terms of testing, I have said to all of our employers that we expect a commitment from them for full testing as soon as it is possible. Until then, we expect as much testing as is possible to be conducted.
Ask yourself, can we demand testing and adherence to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) standards from companies if we don’t comply ourselves?
I know emotions are running high right now and there is a lot of misinformation in the media and on social channels about this virus and about testing. However, we must remain steadfast and consistent in our position and our actions as an organization; and I can promise you that along with the entire International Executive Board, I am doing everything in my power to protect our entire UAW family.
Rory L. Gamble
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