As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to affect communities across the globe, CWA leaders are engaging with employers to ensure that they continue to provide CWA members with comprehensive safety and prevention measures in an environment that encourages open and free communication without fear of reprisal or negative impacts on pay or continued employment
CWA's Health and Safety department has established a process for locals to report on what protections employers have put in place as well as for members to report any incidents of exposure or infection. If you have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms consistent with infection, contact your healthcare provider immediately and follow reporting procedures established by your employer. Also notify your CWA Local or District as soon as possible.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website contains comprehensive, updated information on how to protect yourself from COVID-19 infection.
Now that several COVID-19 vaccinations are approved and vaccination programs are underway, we are making real progress toward reducing infections, illness, and death from the virus. But the danger is not over.
CWA strongly recommends that CWA members be vaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine to protect themselves, their families, their co-workers, and their communities.
CWA supports voluntary vaccination programs and opposes mandatory vaccination as a condition of employment. CWA encourages employers to allow employees to be vaccinated on paid work time and to provide an additional vaccination-related sick time benefit for those people who may have vaccine-related side effects, like fever, and may need to miss work temporarily.
CDC Information on Vaccines:
We want to know what you think about COVID-19 vaccines so we can make sure we provide you with information you need to make informed decisions about vaccinations. The survey is for all members whether you have had a vaccination, plan on getting a vaccination, or do not want to get a vaccination.
If You Think Your Working Conditions Put You at Risk
If you have concerns about the risks you face in the workplace, you should consult with your steward or a Local officer for advice. Click here for more information on your rights if you are concerned about COVID-19 exposure.
State and Federal Benefits and Policy Issues
State and Federal governments have passed legislation to address the impact of COVID-19 on working people. For information on your rights and benefits that may be available to you, visit Family Values @ Work: Know Your Rights Under Emergency Coronavirus Response Laws
Although a series of bills have provided stopgap relief during the pandemic, we need lasting solutions and a plan to recover from the crisis that puts working people first.
Civil and Human Rights Concerns
In this moment of heightened fear and concern, CWA civil and human rights advocates are standing with those who are particularly harmed by the results of the crisis because of their identity or status, and we continue to fight collectively to ensure no one is left without the help they need to live in dignity and safety.
Ensuring equitable and fair vaccine distribution is critical. Barriers to vaccine access must be removed. Federal and state governments must uphold the principles of equity and justice regarding vaccine access and distribution to ensure those in all geographic communities (urban, suburban and rural) as well as vulnerable groups including essential workers, older adults, people with underlying medical conditions, and people from disadvantaged racial and ethnic groups are able to be vaccinated in a timely manner. CWA recognizes and remains committed to fighting against systemic inequalities and racism in healthcare and public health systems.
Learn more: CWA Human Rights - COVID-19 Resources
Because conditions vary across the country and are changing constantly, your local leadership will have the most up-to-date information on policies in place at your work location to address the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have a question and are unable to contact your steward or local officers, click here to submit your question and we will route it to the appropriate person for response.
Reviewed and Updated 3/1/2021