Page 6 - Work Force July-August 2020
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CSEA stands with striking workers
 SYRACUSE — CSEA Central Region members have been standing in solidarity with union members in their community who are on strike to demand respect on the job.
Members of Workers United Local 1947 at Babbitt Bearings in Syracuse have been on strike since early
June. The employees of the bearings manufacturer are fighting for respect and have only had one 50 cent per hour raise over the last five years, according to the Greater Syracuse Labor Council.
CSEA and other unions in the community have been supporting the striking workers on the picket line.
Onondaga County Local President Dan Vadala is among those who have stopped by to support the striking workers and drop off bags of ice
and other supplies — which were needed during the hot and humid June weather.
“They were appreciative of what we did for them,” Vadala said.
Central New York DDSO Local Secretary Kathy Kelly donated water
on behalf of her local ahead of the heat wave strikers had to endure.
Kelly, a vocal activist for CSEA and unionism, is also planning on taking some time after work to march on their picket line.
“They’re just asking for respect,” Kelly said. “They feel it’s awesome that other unions and locals are helping out.”
CSEA Central Region President Kenny Greenleaf also visited the workers to drop off water and show solidarity.
“I’m proud that our Region 5 members have taken the initiative and joined these striking workers
in solidarity during this difficult time,” Greenleaf said. “We wish these workers the best and hope they see a fair and honest contract as soon as possible.”
Building union connections through shows of solidarity like those made at the Babbitt Bearings strike only makes for an overall stronger workforce.
— Nicholas Newcomb
Central New York DDSO Local Secretary Kathy Kelly, second from left, joins in solidarity with the striking workers of Babbitt Bearings. (Photo provided by Kathy Kelly)
 6 The Work Force
July-August 2020
Members of Workers United Local 1947 at Babbitt Bearings in Syracuse have been on strike since the beginning of June. (Photo courtesy of Greater Syracuse Labor Council)
 Returning to work: Employers are responsible for your safety
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, CSEA has had issues with employers failing to do enough to protect their workers.
Employers should have thoroughly evaluated their workspaces and employee assignments to reflect the risk of the COVID-19 hazard. This evaluation should consider exposure risks, sources of exposure and routes of transmission.
OSHA’s General Duty Clause requires employers to control recognized hazards that are or
likely to cause death or serious physical harm using different control methods. It’s best when an employer
has multiple controls in place to best protect employees, including installing Plexiglas barriers, implementing new administrative policies and work practices and providing personal protective equipment appropriate for one’s job, such as face coverings. The employer is also responsible for training and educating workers on new policies or procedures.
To better understand your
job’s risk for potential exposure
to COVID-19, OSHA has developed
a classification system for worker exposure. The higher your exposure risk, the more protections your employer needs to implement.
• Very High Exposure Risk: Health care, morgue workers and some laboratory workers.
• High Exposure Risk: Health care delivery and support, medical transport and mortuary workers.
• Medium Exposure Risk: Workers who have frequent and/or close contact with public (within 6 feet) that may be infected but who are not known or suspected patients.
• Low Exposure Risk: Workers with minimal contact with public or other co-workers (within 6 feet).
While the risk will never be eliminated, it can be reduced. CSEA expects all employers to follow all current federal and state guidelines. If you believe your employer is failing to keep workers as safe as possible, reach out to your CSEA unit or local president.
The staff professionals in our union’s Occupational Safety and Health Department are also available for all technical support and guidance to navigate all the current safety regulations and if needed,
to help get a plan in place for remediation.
— CSEA OSH Specialist Brian Pomeroy

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