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A year of hardships ends with hope

By Sheri Williams

Since the pandemic began, medical workers and union allies have fought for safe conditions for staff and patients. - Courtesy of Calif. Nurses Association

When 2020 began, the upcoming elections seemed like the most pressing issue for union members and their families, presenting battlegrounds at the local, state and national level to stop ongoing attacks on working families.

By spring, the coronavirus had upended lives and plans, turning Labor’s attention to its core mission: protecting the lives and safety of working women and men.

“This year has been unlike any other,” said Sacramento Central Labor Council Executive Director Fabrizio Sasso. “I am thankful but not surprised that the family of Labor rose up to meet the challenge and stand together for the good of all.”

As the virus began spreading across our region and across the country, it laid bare social and economic divisions. It quickly became clear that some demographics were at more risk than others. The disease was more deadly not only to the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions, but also to Black and brown workers in jobs that required close contact and in-person work.

Our union members across hundreds of industries – farmworkers, janitors, construction workers, medical professionals, childcare providers – were quickly deemed essential, but left without the protections they needed and deserved to continue to do their jobs.

Into that void of regulation and common sense, the Sacramento Central Labor Council and the Sacramento-Sierra’s Building and Construction Trades Council joined the fight with Labor organizations across the United States to ensure that workers were protected.

“I am proud to say the Building Trades stepped forward to present some of the strongest and first protocols for returning to work safely,” said SSBCTC Executive Director Kevin Ferreira ...

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