Union asks Health secretary to extend oversight action to all gov’t agencies
By John McPhaul
General Union of Workers (UGT by its Spanish initials) President Gerson Guzmán López asked island Health Secretary Lorenzo González on Tuesday to extend his supervisory work to all government agencies after ordering the closure of several businesses over the weekend for non-compliance with the executive order on public health protocols in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The union leader also urged hospital personnel to demand compliance on the part of their employers with the provision of the equipment and materials necessary for the prevention of infection from COVID-19.
“Our membership complains of a lack of protective materials, non-compliance with distancing measures in areas of reduced space, poor or limited cleaning and disinfection processes, and trying to bypass the mandatory quarantine measures when a positive case is detected,” Guzmán López said in a written statement. “For this reason, we ask the Secretary of Health to extend oversight action to other government agencies that do not comply with the protocols that they promised to maintain while the current pandemic lasts.”
The UGT president said his intention is to guarantee the strictest compliance with the measures established in the protocols so that government agencies can continue to provide services to citizens without putting the health and safety of both the staff and the public at risk.
“The Secretary of Health must prioritize those agencies where the number of affected employees has been high, as is the case with the Department of Labor [and Human Resources], and in those cases where multiple complaints have arisen due to the relaxation of the rigor required by the established protocols,” Guzmán López said.
He added that many of the risks can be minimized if work is organized through the alternate day system or the intensive use of telework when conditions allow it.
“Of course, if there is no other alternative than to do the work in person, then what must be imposed is the greatest rigor in complying with the established rules,” Guzmán López said.