Largest union of federal, D.C. workers calls for action to protect employees, residents from coronavirus
The American Federation of Government Employees, the largest union representing federal and D.C. government workers, on Friday called on D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to take more aggressive steps to protect employees and the public from the coronavirus. “Mayor Bowser needs to conduct an assessment of what essential services are required for D.C. residents during this time of major emergency,” said Eric Bunn, national vice president for AFGE’s 14th District, which represents more than 20,000 D.C. and federal government employees. Lacking top-down direction, each D.C. agency has been left to respond on its own – resulting in inconsistent implementation of emergency guidelines, Bunn said. Examples include the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs operating as normal but without providing adequate safety equipment to employees and the Department of Motor Vehicles requiring employees to report to work even though not all services are being conducted, exposing them to potential health hazards.
Bunn said he would like both Mayor Bowser and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to follow the lead of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who has taken aggressive steps statewide to minimize group activity and limit the spread of the virus.
“We need all of our elected leaders in the Washington area to work together and take immediate steps to limit exposure to this virus,” AFGE National President Everett Kelley said. “That means shutting down all but the most essential services, and making sure all steps are being taken to protect those employees who must report to work.”
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