Construction Union Seeks Worker Protections
By Matt Murphy
June 8, 2020
Construction Union Seeks Worker Protections: Criticizing the safety protocols as “weak,” a union representing construction workers is calling on Gov. Charlie Baker to strengthen the protections for workers in the executive order signed by the governor last month that allowed employees to return to job sites. The Massachusetts Building Trades Council said Baker’s executive order allowing construction to resume on May 18 fails to hold employers to the same high standards for health as employees. “The executive order must be amended to include strong worker rights to refuse unsafe work when adequate PPE or safety protocols are not provided, with no loss of pay. It must also be amended to provide strong whistleblower protections for workers who report hazardous conditions and non-compliance,” MBTC President Frank Callahan wrote in a letter to Baker dated May 28. “Absent any liability or responsibility, irresponsible employers will needlessly place their workers at risk because they have no reason to do so,” he added. The council said it chose to release Callahan’s letter on Monday after the administration failed to respond. The letter also asked for clarification on whether masks should be worn by construction workers at all times on the job site, and for transparent data collection, reporting, and tracking by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.