General Chairman Edington's Letter Concerning COVID-19
March 17, 2020
via email only
Mr Lance Fritz
Chairman President & CEO
1400 Douglas St
Omaha, NE 68179
This is in reference to the Carrier’s actions towards protecting TE&Y employees against exposure to the COVID-19 outbreak our country is currently facing.
As you are aware, the recent outbreak of COVID-19 has forced many states, businesses and agencies to take drastic measures in order to control the spread of the virus. As an Organization, we’ve implemented similar measures to ensure the safety of our employees but ask for your assistance and leadership in doing the same for our members, the men and women working in the TE&Y craft.
The majority of these employees are spending hours on end in locomotives, crew vans and hotel rooms. This poses serious risk to these employees as they have potential to be exposed to the virus, especially if those environments are not properly sanitized.
I’m asking for clarification and assurances that Carrier is taking every preventative measure possible to ensure that TE&Y employees are being protected from any potential threats and are given time off, when needed and without repercussions, if they are exposed.
In addition to the aforementioned points, the Organization also requests that Carrier work with this office to develop a plan of action that addresses the following concerns:
- Segregation of crafts and crews in Carrier facilities and in away from home hotels.
- Proper sanitization of equipment, transport vehicles, crew rooms, hotels, rcl equipment, work stations, etc.
- Postponement of rules exams and testing of hearing and vision for certification requirements.
- Increased availability to crew packs and cleaning supplies (Lysol wipes and spray cleaners).
- Access to a sanitized eating facility for yard crews and employees at the away from home terminal.
- Avoiding the use of public forms of transportation (Amtrak, Taxis, Uber, Lyft, etc.) for deadheading.
- Having masks and education material of the virus readily available.
- Providing documentation to employees in restricted areas which defines them as “essential”.
Due to the importance of this matter, this office suggests an immediate meeting (conference call) be scheduled in order to further discuss these issues.