WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, (AFGE), the largest federal employee union, is calling on the Commander, Navy Installations Command HQ to close all non-mission-critical facilities at NSA Naples, in Italy, until the coronavirus situation is under control.
AFGE Local 3712 represents over 100 civilian employees at the Navy Exchange (NEX), Morale Welfare Recreation (MWR) facilities and the Child Development Center (CDC) at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Naples, in Italy. Union officials have confirmed that contrary to the Italian government’s “stay at home” guidance, NEX stores and MWR facilities remain operational, including some restaurants within the food court and the bowling alley. While the CDC is closed, employees are still reporting for routine cleanings, trainings, and other tasks.
“It is unacceptable and irresponsible for these facilities to remain open during this crisis. The Navy must close all non-mission-critical facilities immediately in order to protect employees, their families, and communities,” said AFGE National President Everett Kelley. “Most of these employees are fully integrated into Italian society, with spouses and children who are Italian citizens, some of whom have been experiencing flu-like symptoms and are currently quarantined.”
Union officials at NEX and MWR have also confirmed that administrative leave has only been authorized for employees diagnosed with or who have been directly exposed to COVID-19. If an employee must stay home to care for sick family members or because they are fearful of catching the virus, the employee must use annual leave or go into a leave without pay status.
“Workers shouldn’t have to choose between a paycheck and protecting themselves and their families from this virus,” Kelley continued. “With nearly 65,000 confirmed cases in Italy, and a death toll that is continuing to rise, something must be done to ensure that these employees remain paid and safe during this pandemic.”
For the latest news and information about the coronavirus, visit www.afge.org/coronavirus.