FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 2020
Contact: Denise Romano, firstname.lastname@example.org
Columbia University to TWU Local 241: ‘Drop Dead’
Ivy League School Provides ‘Bare Minimum’ PPE
Work isn’t Covered in TWU Contract
NEW YORK, NY – Columbia University is threatening to order about a dozen custodial workers that Transport Workers of America, AFL-CIO (TWU) Local 241 represents to clean an area of New York Presbyterian Hospital – a facility they are not required to work in according to their contract – and is only looking to provide the “bare minimum” of personal protective equipment (PPE) required by the CDC.
The area of New York Presbyterian Hospital they are being asked to work in is used by doctors, patients and the general public, putting TWU members directly in the pathway of COVID-19. One member from the local has already passed away due to the virus. TWU Local 241members are not properly trained to perform their work in this type of facility. When contacted by the Local, Columbia University was unable to provide clear answers to questions, such as:
- What type of PPE will be provided?
- What will work schedules be like?
- How long will the relocation last?
- What type of training will be provided?
“It’s simply unconscionable that Ivy League Columbia University has absolutely no regard for the health and wellbeing of the custodial workers who keep Columbia safe and sanitary,” said TWU International President John Samuelsen. “Columbia is putting TWU members directly in harm’s way. Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm. Too bad the same rules don’t apply to Columbia University executives who don’t give a damn about its workers’ lives.”
TWU Local 241 President Alex Molina added, “What Columbia University is doing is insulting. They have not provided detailed information to any of our questions. If our members are being asked to do this work, they should be provided the utmost protection, not the bare minimum. Columbia must do the right thing!”
The TWU International represents more than 151,000 members across the airline, railroad, transit, universities, utilities and services sectors