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A well-deserved salute, and affirmation to all fellow frontline workers, for your constancy in providing essential transit services, for other fellow frontline workers, loyal customers, and transit dependent community, during a time of increased stress and uncertainty, due to the pandemic.
Unfortunately, the pandemic has exposed long implanted disparities, inadequacies, and injustices, permeated in institutions of every type—current employer included.
Although our employer deserves accolades, by providing personal protection equipment (PPE), as quickly as possible at the start of the pandemic, and allowing for leave for those most at risk, and affected.
Nevertheless, they seem oblivious to frontline (essential), workers who did not have the luxury of working from home, putting their lives at risk and endangering household and family members to infection—seem tone deaf to the ideal of hazard pay.
Hazard pay, just like the coronavirus and all its unintended consequences is not a budgeted item but things got reshuffled due to the emergency. Hence, it is less about the budget—than it is about priorities.
I return to the institutional inadequacies that have long existed, because it is in the “urgency of now”, that we demand, hazard pay, for those in the words of our International President, were/are used as “cannon fodder”, in this war with CORVID-19.
Robert E. Garrett, Secretary-Treasurer
Transport Workers Union of America – Local 260