Area airport workers demand better protection against coronavirus

Posted: Updated:

Workers at Newark Liberty International Airport and other area airports are demanding that more be done to protect them from the coronavirus, as they work around people who could possibly be infected.

The airport workers’ union says that 30,000 cleaners, baggage handlers and assistants want training and better protections against the illness. Union vice president Rob Hill says that he considers his works to be on the front lines of the situation.

“The main thing they’re worried about is that most workers – probably 20,000 – don’t have health care. They don’t have access to a doctor if they feel sick,” Hill says in a statement.

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Hill says that he fears that the workers won’t go to the hospital due to the cost. Coronavirus has sickened thousands of people around the world – 53 in the United States. More than 2,700 deaths have been reported – mainly in China.

Newark Liberty is one of the airports where staffers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are testing arriving passengers to see if they are sick with the virus.

The CDC is being responsive to the workers’ concerns. The agency says that workers at Newark Liberty will get training from a group named the Work Environmental Council. They will be taught the best practices to avoid contracting the disease, such as proper hand washing. They will also learn about the myths surrounding coronavirus.

There have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in New Jersey.


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