PRESS RELEASE: AFSCME Council 13 supports Wolf Administration enforcement of social distancing measures
Harrisburg, PA (May 11, 2020) – Governor Tom Wolf announced on Monday that his administration intends to “stay the course” with its social distancing measures and impose penalties on counties that do not comply.
AFSCME Council 13 supports these steps as they will serve to continue to protect Pennsylvanians, including front line workers, many of whom are represented by the union.
There is also a provision stating county residents receiving unemployment compensation will be able to continue to receive benefits even if their employer reopens. Employees may choose not to return out of concern for personal safety and safety of coworkers.
“We all want to get back to normal and reopen businesses, but we must protect public health and safety above all,” AFSCME Council 13 Executive Director David Fillman said.
“The Wolf Administration’s phased reopening plan and enforcement measures serve to protect healthcare professionals and all working people on the frontlines of this crisis, as well as the public. Reopening too soon or defying these measures only endangers people, especially vulnerable individuals.”
Reopening decisions are based on the advice of scientists, medical professionals, and the state’s epidemiologists, and Council 13 thanks them for their service, along with the thousands of AFSCME members in Pennsylvania and around the nation who are reporting for duty at this uncertain time.
AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees) is the largest affiliate in the AFL-CIO. AFSCME Council 13 represents more than 65,000 employees in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.