The AFGE union has circulated to its locals a list of strategies, many of them involving invoking outside attention, to pressure management if they believe that there are hazardous conditions in the workplace related to the Coronavirus.
Those steps include filing an OSHA complaint—which it notes can be done anonymously—and requesting a CDC inspection. Also suggested is that local union officials “call the governor’s office and inform them of the agency’s negligence. Request that their office get involved and explain that the potential spread of COVID-19 is running high in the community.”
Other steps include notifying the union’s national council; setting up a conference call with employees to advise them on filing workers’ compensation claims; “demand the agency begin contact tracing, and notify exposed employees, vendors, contractor, and members of the public”; “demand to bargain as a COVID-19 outbreak has a substantial impact on conditions of employment”; and “call congressional representatives and the senators in your state to inform them of the failure the agency has made in containing the virus.”
Others include filing whistleblower complaints, getting local publicity, and notifying the state health department of any cases of infection. “Everyone who is exposed and infected should call OSHA, CDC, and congressional leadership and seek a workers comp claim if it is work related,” it adds.