TORONTO, Ont. – The United Steelworkers (USW) union is the latest group to call on businesses to offer washroom access to commercial drivers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Provinces and municipalities should be mandating businesses to accommodate these drivers. At this time, these drivers are essential workers, so they should be treated accordingly,” said Steven Hadden, president of USW Local 1976, which represents nearly 2,000 couriers and other commercial drivers.
It’s counted among several USW locals that represent Canadian transportation workers.
“They have to do these jobs. They’re working up to 12 hours a day. At the very least they should be able to go to the washroom and take basic health precautions, like washing their hands,” Hadden said in a press release that was distributed today.
“We’re exposed to a higher risk of infection every day and we have to worry about bringing that risk home to our families at the end of the day. We need to be able to reduce the risk as much as possible,” said Kody Giroux, a courier driver in North Bay, Ont., and member of USW Local 1976.
To compound matters, some transportation companies are struggling to find disinfectant gels and wipes for employees.
“Companies are offering to reimburse workers who buy their own supplies, but they’re next-to-impossible to find,” Hadden said.
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