Brothers and Sisters:
As the United States is faced with the concern of the new Coronavirus known as COVID-19, I feel it is important to speak to this topic with all our UAW membership.
I want to be very clear that we do not take this matter lightly. In detailing some important actions that our UAW is taking relative to the virus; I want to assure our brothers and sisters that we continue discussions daily to ensure the necessary steps are being taken to maintain a state of preparedness.
In addition to focusing on preparedness, our leadership is asked to be diligent in maintaining a constant watch on the potential spread of COVID-19 to ensure any new challenges are recognized and reacted to accordingly.
The direction given to businesses and the American public are predominantly derived from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations and the World Health Organization (WHO).
As our UAW staff and leadership monitor and assess the situation there have already been several steps taken to limit exposure potentials.
This includes travel bans and restrictions according to potential threat levels geographically.
This also includes restrictions on modes of transportation, such as airlines both domestically and internationally.
We are working with companies to ensure that vendors traveling internationally into the U.S. have restrictions depending on geographic point of origin and potential for exposures, including quarantine protocols.
The internal UAW Health and Safety Department protocols have been updated and shared with Health and Safety Committees and companies.
In addition to these steps, there have been leadership communications sent to all leaders, including this correspondence, to share the most current information with our members.
Our UAW Health and Safety Department back in February began to track best practices and impacts on our worksites and that work continues. Our UAW Nationally appointed Health and Safety representatives locally to actively engage our membership and help answer questions to address concerns appropriately.
I also want to spend a moment to talk about basic and simple hygiene practices that, according to the CDC, we can all practice to help each other maintain a level of potential protection against the spread of any and all viruses, including COVID-19:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap is not available with at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or cloth when you sneeze or cough
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Finally, a note of caution as Spring and Easter Break approaches to keep in mind these protocols when looking at family travel and these best practices.
We will continue to press for the utmost preparedness and response capabilities from senior leadership at all levels. I want to thank all of you for the caution and preparedness you display at home and in the workplace regarding this matter.
Through Solidarity we will protect our families and keep our economy flowing.
Rory L. Gamble
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