Tag Archives: Local 100 United Labor Unions

Where’s the Health and Safety Plan?

New Orleans      Leaders and members of Local 100 United Labor Unions finally had enough of working on the frontlines without proper protection against the coronavirus in nursing homes, supported living centers, human development centers, transportation, sanitation, cleaning, schools, head start centers, and public-facing offices.  OSHA, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, requires every workplace to contain a copy of the company’s health and safety plan.  Local 100 members working for sixty different employers, public and private, came together on one day to go into their employers’ offices and demand to see the plan.

None of this came out of the blue, given the shutdown, CDC regulations, and nature of the services provided by the daily labor of Local 100 members. This concern had been a matter of constant discussion in the workplace between Local 100 stewards and supervisors, Local 100 representatives and employers.  Early in the pandemic when clients of ResCare turned positive and workers were unprotected, Local 100 filed a formal complaint with OSHA.  We’re still waiting for action.

Some workplaces have been better than others, certainly, while others have pretended that they needed to do little, slow walking everything from clear policies to protect workers and clients to inadequate personal protection gear.  Local 100, working with #NOLAPPE-Last Mile, has distributed literally thousands of face masks, shields, and isolation gowns to our workers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.  As one of our Shreveport stewards working at Caddo Head Start told the press on all-union-action-day, “We are constantly cleaning, and I’ve purchased my own masks and my own shoe covers.”

Local 100 sent requests to all their employers in recent weeks formally requesting a copy of each employer’s OSHA mandated health and safety plan.  The response was underwhelming.  One of the nursing homes in Shreveport responded.  A couple of head start companies complied in Houston and Shreveport.  At best it was a smattering at the headquarters level.  At the workplace level, Local 100 members reported never having seen the plan or informed of its existence.

Enough.

Local 100 members in a coordinated multi-state, multi-city action in full-PPE confronted supervisors in hundreds of our workplaces with all of our employers demanding to see a copy of the plan, while alerting the public and media about the action.   We’re still getting reports back on how many of workers successfully accessed reports.  We’ll count them up, and file more complaints with OSHA on the unavailability of the reports.  We will get them.

Once we have them, then the next step in Local 100’s Health & Safety Campaign, will be making sure the plans actually make workers’ health and safety a priority in the guidelines and a reality in practice.  This should have been the easy part, the harder parts are still to come.

Local 100 members are fed up.   Local 100 members are in it to win it.

It’s a fight that needs to happen everywhere.

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Masks and Food for the People

Pearl River     ACORN and its affiliates are direct action, mass-based organizations.  Some now ask, how do we explain the fact that we also, especially now, deliver what many would only expect of service-based outfits?   Easy answer: a membership-based organization has to be able to respond to the membership.  When the membership is in crisis, so is the organization, and that means the organization has to be able to respond to what the membership needs now.  We all learned this in the United States when ACORN had to turn on a dime to support our members after hurricane Katrina.  We learned it in Peru during earthquake disasters, and with our partners in Indonesia and India after tsunamis.  We’re learning it again during the Covid-19 disaster, although the lessons are different and more widespread, since this crisis for our membership is universal, rather than local.

ACORN India in Dharavi, the mega-slum in Mumbai, is delivering food packets to their members, especially among the young people in the waste pickers’ cooperative, who depended on ACORN collections from schools and colleges, that are now closed.  ACORN India in Delhi, both among our informal workers’ union and in the more than a dozen night centers we manage, has organized volunteers and kitchens to serve more than 7000 meals per day.   The ACORN Union in England has mobilized 4000 volunteers in addition to our members in our sixteen branches to do food purchases and pharmacy pickups for community members in the most precarious situations.  (To support these efforts, donate at via the Global Covid-19 Respond Fund.)  ACORN Honduras in San Pedro Sula and Choloma are now sewing special ACORN masks for our members and supporters. To support this effort, you can donate via our website to the Global Covid-19 Respond Fund and put Honduras in the memo.

Local 100, United Labor Unions, partnered with #NOLAPPE and its Last Mile Project and delivered 7000 KN95 and surgical masks to our members and others in nursing homes, schools, and community homes supporting independent living for the differently abled.  Toney Orr, Local 100’s field director, just returned from mask deliveries in Houston and Dallas to school bus drivers, custodians, and food service workers, and to our nursing home workers under collective bargaining contracts in Shreveport.  Deliveries are being made over the next week from Local 100’s New Orleans office to healthcare workers in the city, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette areas.

Working on distribution with the Last Mile, their only request was that we make sure there were pictures taken of the delivery that they could share with the various donors, many of whom had organized to obtain personal protective equipment as members of the personal app-based gaming industry the likes of PacMan, Pokeman, and that sort.  Some of the pictures our partners couldn’t use.  The members were so excited that they wanted to be in the picture.  Whoops, that’s not social distancing, but that is absolutely what a membership organization is all about!

 

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