• The Star Staff

Union leader: Labor Dept. workers forced back to in-person work

By John McPhaul


The directors of the Human Resources and Labor Relations Office of the Department of Labor and Retirement System insist on implementing the return to work-in-person despite the excellent performance record of employees in the work-at-home mode, Gerson Guzmán López, president of the General Workers Union (UGT by its Spanish initials), said Wednesday.

The president of the UGT, a union that represents Retirement Board and Department of Labor and Human Resources workers, said the union has made its claim upon learning of multiple cases in the office, and in other government agencies, where personnel with just cause, for reasons of health or their children’s distance studies, are unable to return to in-person work, even under the terms of the fragmented week that the government has offered as an alternative.

“By publicly and privately requesting that the different requests be considered to continue work performance through teleworking, each one on its merits, we are not claiming any privilege for the workers we represent,” Guzmán López said in a press release. “We are simply requesting that these particular cases be allowed to continue in teleworking mode where the reality of the worker does not allow them to return in person because they have to stay with their children at home or have a health condition that prevents them from returning.”

“The order issued by the Government to return to work in-person has become a dogma for some heads and agency directors who do not understand the reality that some of their employees experience in the face of the inconveniences caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential of teleworking to reduce them while maintaining the same level of worker productivity,” he added.

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