AFL-CIO President Discusses Worker Safety and COVID-19 with President-Elect Biden

Labor News

Reprinted from the AFL-CIO’s blog Now by Riichard Trumka on November 16, 2020.

[On Monday,] AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka joined President-Elect Joe Biden, Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris and leaders from the business community and labor movement to share the federation’s vision for how to get people back to work safely in face of COVID-19.

Here are excerpts from Trumka’s remarks:

“We need to manufacture the respirators and personal protective equipment that continue to be in short supply. We need to make the investments to retrofit our workplaces and schools to meet the ventilation and distancing requirements scientists and workplace safety experts tell us are absolutely vital. We need to make sure all COVID-19 cases are counted and reported so we know where the major outbreaks are before they get worse.”

“But with close to 200,000 Americans becoming infected every day and workers dying at alarming rates, especially in communities of color, the most important thing we can do on Day 1 is to reestablish OSHA’s mission of protecting workers. For four years, OSHA has been AWOL. There’s been no full-time director. There are fewer inspectors today than at any point in the agency’s history.” …

AFL-CIO now 11/16

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at