| 09-03-2020

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Wearing Is Caring

COVID-19 Cases In Edmonton Depots

Over the last few days our office was notified that two of our members within Edmonton tested positive for C19: one at Delton depot (last worked Aug 17, received test results Aug 28) and one at Rosedale (last worked Aug 24, received results Aug 30). In both cases, CPC followed AHS direction for cleaning and tracking. As of writing this, no additional cases have emerged.

Since the pandemic began, our office’s said it’s inevitable that the virus will be unknowingly carried into our workplaces; the challenge remains to prevent asymptomatic internal spread. To this end, our local’s insisted on sanitation schedules and kits in every facility, as well as staggered shifts and breaks to allow for sufficient physical distancing. These measures are designed to contain any instances of the virus to a few people on a single wave, shift, or within a section. The effectiveness of this strategy is proportional to the amount of buy-in we get from members. If we’re all on-board and remain vigilant, asymptomatic cases that sneak in should be contained. Again, maintaining these measures will be especially important for the impending back-to-school C19 wave.

A Mask Protects You By Protecting Others

Many still misunderstand why wearing a mask at this time is important. The point is not that most masks will meaningfully prevent the wearer from getting sick -- they won’t. The point is that by wearing any kind of mouth and nose covering, the wearer is considerably less likely to asymptotically spread the virus. We now know that those who are infected might not express symptoms for up to 10 days. A hugely beneficial practice during this pandemic is to assume that you may already have the virus, and to always properly wear a mask around others. 

As mentioned in the last bulletin, even though mask wearing hasn’t yet been made mandatory in non-public CPC facilities, our local is asking our shop stewards and LJHSC members to lead by example by wearing masks and encouraging others to as well. We’re appealing to all members to please prioritize the greater health and well-being of their co-workers by wearing a mask at work. Proper mask wearing, combined with the other measures we’ve fought for, is the best practical strategy we have to reduce harm. Protect yourself by respecting and protecting each other.

We’re Here To Help

It’s very important that if you’re feeling ill in any way that you immediately contact 811 to see if you should self-isolate and seek testing, then update CPC if you’re being instructed to stay home. If you feel CPC is not upholding adequate safety standards, the best way to affect change is to get as many others that feel the same, confront management as a group and use your right to complain. If you feel CPC’s response is still not acceptable, you have the right to refuse unsafe work. No matter what option you pursue, call or leave a message with our Health & Safety officer, Rashpal, for support [780-423-9000 ext. 4]. We’re always here and happy to help if you need us.

In Solidarity,

Roland Schmidt
President, CUPW 730


Rashpal Sehmby
Health & Safety Officer, CUPW 730