100 signatures reached
To: Jeff Pederson, CORT President & CEO
CORT: Reinstate Terminated Workers/ Provide COVID-19 Protections Now
UPDATE: We demand the immediate reinstatement of workers who have been fired after voicing their desire to join a union and for safer working conditions during the COVID-19 outbreak. CORT has fired employees organizing with Teamsters Local 814, saying their positions have been eliminated, and not offering them a chance to get their jobs back. Just yesterday, New Jersey warehouse management ordered workers to keep working at least one hour beyond their 8 hour shift because there was so much work. Ask CORT: Why are workers being terminated while you’ve hired additional subcontracted trucks? Why aren’t you putting worker and customer health and safety first?
In order to have a healthy work environment, and to guarantee the safety of our customers, we are requesting that CORT implement these immediate changes to protect employee’s health:
Hazard pay: while New Jersey and New York state are in a state of emergency, pay all CORT employees hazard pay at 1.5x the rate of our regular pay
Extended paid sick leave: provide 2 weeks paid sick leave for employees who exhibit coronavirus-like symptoms, or whose household members exhibit coronavirus-like symptoms, in addition to the regular paid leave policy.
A full day’s pay on Wednesdays: If Wednesday closures continue, all employees must be paid for a full 8 hour day, without a reduction to our hours later in the week. The current policy does not protect our families and is reducing our weekly earnings
Personal Protective Equipment: provide gloves that fit (the ones we have been given are too small and are breaking), additional disinfectant solution to clean frequently touched surfaces in trucks and in the warehouse, etc.
Close or start staggered shifts: Either close the New Jersey warehouse completely for two weeks so that employees may self-quarantine and provide full pay to all employees for the duration of the closure, or implement staggered shifts so that fewer employees are working at the same time.
Immediate two weeks’ paid leave for employees who have worked in New York: Workers who have been assigned to work in New York the week of March 23 should be placed on immediate two weeks paid leave at their regular rate of pay to self-quarantine. Workers who begin self-quarantined paid leave on March 27 should return to work no earlier than April 10, 2020.
Why is this important?
CORT has not provided our New Jersey warehouse with adequate protections from the spread of COVID-19. We did not receive gloves or eye protection until March 20, 2020, and closing business on Wednesdays will not reduce transmission among employees. Contracted trucks are not reducing our risk of exposure as the furniture they are unloading may carry coronavirus.
Many of our requests are practices recommended by the CDC. We trust that you will do the right thing to protect the health of CORT employees, our families, and our customers.