Essential workers? Does Covid-19 make them SACRIFICIAL workers?

Posted by jsmolders - May 16th, 2020

I watched with horror how Trump’s executive order sent the meat packing workers back into their plants (in several cases without effective testing that guarantees their safety from Covid-19) and to their possible deaths. Those poor people, many of them immigrants, now have no legal recourse if they refuse to come to work without  guarantee that they will be working with healthy co-workers.

In many other industries, essential workers who keep us fed and alive, the system working, essential services provided, do not have the luxury of being able to work from home. They and the medical and emergency personnel are heroes.  Mc Connell (Trump behind him) wants a law that keeps employers shielded from legal recourse by workers who risk losing their jobs (and their health insurance) if they refuse to enter their place of employ and face the real possibility of death-by-Covid.

I trust that Mc Connell will fail, and hope that employers, despite the unrelenting pressure and drive for profits, show humanity by providing adequate testing and Covid-safe work arrangements. Short term profits might suffer, but the long term is another story: humanity and compassion shown now will pay dividends later.  I dare to hope that the good in man will prevail and that essential workers will not be forced to become sacrificial ones.

P.S. It’s ironic that senator Cornyn now advises that laid-off workers without health insurance sign up for Obamacare. Good old Obamacare! This same senator supports a Texan ruling, now at the Supreme Court, to repeal Obamacare. Which one is it, Cornyn, Obamacare or no Obamacare? Or do you think voters do not notice your doublespeak?

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Jan Smolders, author of Viral Games, The Convenient Fund and The Bridge of Whispers carries Belgian and USA passports, has lived in Belgium, Japan and Singapore, and resides in Florida. Read More...