AFGE has joined the AFL-CIO to call on both the White House and Congress to take immediate action and create enforceable safety guidelines to be put into place to help protect workers who could come into contact with infected Ebola patients.
In separate letters addressed to House and Senate leaders from both parties, AFGE and the AFL-CIO asked Congress to provide the necessary funding or legislation "to ensure that workers and the public are protected." Among those protections is a request for a measure prohibiting retaliation against workers who publicly raise concerns about their facilities' preparedness, and another for compensating workers who lose their jobs due to Ebola exposure.
Recent events in Texas "have tested our health care institutions and systems and found them unprepared and unable to provide proper patient care or adequate protections to workers and the public,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in the letter.
There are hundreds of thousands of health care, emergency response, transportation security, and Department of Defense civilian workers who are potentially at risk of Ebola exposure. AFGE and the AFL-CIO believe that protecting these workers is an integral part in protecting the public from exposure and ensuring health care facilities are properly equipped to handle the treatment of communicable diseases.