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SEIU California asks Governor to direct California’s manufacturing capacity to the production of PPEs and ventilators

April 10, 2020

SEIU California


April 9, 2020

Frontline Workers Laud Gov. Newsom’s Bold Leadership and Action on Masks; Lay Out Audacious State Action Plan for PPE Needed to Save Lives from COVID-19

Sacramento, CA -- Workers on the frontlines saving lives and serving the most vulnerable as the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is projected to reach California in the coming weeks today called for California to adopt a bold, four-point action plan on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Their plan was introduced on a conference call with the news media this morning and in a letter from the Service Employees’ International Union (SEIU) California. The plan calls for the state to use its emergency powers to mobilize California’s vast industries into production and work with frontline workers to assess needs and deploy resources, building on the bold action Governor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday to spur production of sorely needed N95 and surgical masks.

“Against the dark backdrop of this global pandemic, California has been the nation’s bright light, thanks to Governor Newsom’s early action and bold leadership. We are leading the way in saving lives. We need to continue by mobilizing our entire state to get life-saving supplies to the front lines, and we can do even more than we have. When we look back on this moment we will be proud if we have done absolutely everything possible to protect the frontline workers whose courageous work and service are sustaining our communities,” said Bob Schoonover, President of SEIU California and SEIU Local 721.

Facing the worst weeks of this pandemic ahead, healthcare, long-term care and education frontline workers called for aggressive action to deliver billions more pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) and life-saving supplies to the front lines. These include not just masks but also gloves, shoe coverings, gowns, disinfectants, and ventilators - all of which will be essential to protect and support the frontline workforces serving our communities and fighting the pandemic.

“We have been asking for more protection and not until this week did we get masks. Earlier this week my supervisor asked us to choose: disposable 3M masks that we would have to reuse or a fabric mask that we can take home and wash ourselves. We were not allowed to have both.” said Maria Santa Maria, School Worker who is distributing food in Sacramento. “I’m scared. I don’t want to bring home the virus to my kids. I don’t want to bring home the virus to my daughter who is pregnant.”

The frontline workers represented by SEIU local unions in California asked the State of California to:

“Our state has been leading the way in taking the necessary precautions to help ‘flatten the curve,'” said Sydnie Boylan, an RN at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital.  “We must continue to lead the way, and the governor must take further action so that nurses won’t ever have to be forced to choose between risking their lives and caring for their patients.”

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