Donnie Blatt, District 1 Director of the United Steelworkers spoke with America’s Work Force on April 24 to discuss reopening the economy.
Blatt explained essential workers who are working during the pandemic. He said that these workers are obviously nervous about being in public at a higher risk of contracting the virus, but are following all necessary safety precautions to ensure they stay healthy. Blatt mentioned that personal protective equipment is becoming scarce, putting workers at risk because they do not have all the proper equipment. Some workers are being told that they need to go out and get it for themselves. He went on to talk about the reopening of the economy and how he is nervous that it might be happening too quickly. Blatt stressed that although the economy is opening back up, people still need to exercise caution so that we do not cause a disastrous second wave of COVID-19. He said that in his opinion, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine reacted timely and appropriately with his stay-at-home order and potentially saved thousands of lives.
Lane Windham, Associate Director of Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor spoke about how the COVID-19 pandemic is the perfect storm for female workers. She explained that women hold one in three jobs that are deemed essential, yet are still not compensated equally to their male counterpart. She said that now is a perfect time for female workers to fight for equality in the workplace. Without them, essential workplaces will be struggling more. Windham also spoke about how 75 percent of healthcare workers are women and how important they are to the industry.
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