The food distribution rotated through Southern Illinois communities. He said in some areas people lined up two hours before the distribution started.
“It was received positively by the community. Obviously, we never had an issue in finding enough people to give food,” Masterson said.
Some sectors of their union, like healthcare, worked through the COVID-19 pandemic. Other sectors saw shutdowns of one month to several months.
“We’ve had to figure out how to handle COVID outbreaks and quarantines in the work place. Some workers have had to use vacation and sick time. In some instances, the union and employer have been able to coordinate small amounts of unpaid leave,” he said.
Now, members are faced with employers requiring immunization for COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing, which employers and unions will have to discuss.
Masterson said that created a lot of work and there was no precedent for these issues.
One plus has been the change in the job climate.
“Most people who want a good paying job can get one,” Masterson said.
He said one of his favorite quotes is from Abraham Lincoln’s address to Congress on Dec. 3, 1861:
“Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights."
Region: Southern,Local,City: Carbondale,Region: Carbondale
via The Southern
September 3, 2021 at 10:49PM