On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Just one month later, we’re still in the midst of what will surely be remembered as the biggest health, social and economic crisis of our time.
As we write to you with some updates from the union, we cannot help but think of the thousands of health care workers reporting to work every day. Our members, and health care workers across the country, are facing conditions that worsen by the day. They must contend with dwindling access to personal protective equipment, and yet they support the people who need them most every day. They, along with workers in the retail, transit, telecommunications, media and many other sectors, are the true heroes that will help us pull through this pandemic.
Over the past few weeks, all Unifor sectors, regions and departments have been working together to respond to the impacts of this crisis on our members. We have talked to and heard from many of you, and we know that the challenges you face in your locals, and in your workplaces, are significant.
Thousands of workers facing layoff have had questions over the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Our team has followed every government announcement and has summarized everything you need to know into this CERB Frequently Asked Questions document. Please read and understand it, and share the information with your members.
We are encouraging you to use this template letter to employers to encourage them to donate medical supplies, including masks and sanitizer, to help meet health care facilities’ urgent needs.
Many members may be experiencing fear, anxiety, and strong emotional responses related to the impacts of COVID-19. We have assembled dedicated mental health resources to help you and your members cope during these difficult times.
In the coming weeks, we will continue to share the stories of our front-line workers who support communities across the country every day. We will develop tools, such as webinars, to help you and your members access the information that will help you through this crisis. And we will continue the work that is necessary to build the better world we need: during, and also after the crisis is over.
Be sure to visit www.unifor.org/covid-19 for regular updated materials and other resources.
As we navigate the situation, we're asking you to get in touch with us if you have requests for what our union can do to support your local union through this time. We are actively looking for ways to help you, and we encourage you to contact us with your ideas by emailing email@example.com.
We truly hope that you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy.