Statement from Stephanie Bloomingdale, President of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, on Governor Evers’ statewide masking order:
This week, Governor Tony Evers demonstrated true leadership by enacting a statewide masking order. The order eliminates a regulatory patchwork and brings all Wisconsin communities in line with common sense and science. Actions that promote a safer workplace are in everyone’s interest. Wearing a mask and following other guidelines like social distancing protects working people and their families, and is the most effective strategy for everyone to help get our economy back on track. However, it’s not enough to have workers wear masks if the unmasked public they serve are free to cough on them. This is an order we literally can all live with.
From the moment the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the Wisconsin AFL-CIO has been calling for the universal use of appropriate personal protective equipment, including face coverings, in every workplace. When PPE shortages left those on the job exposed, our members jumped into action and formed the Union Mask Brigade to make and distribute masks to workers who needed them.
On July 31, the Wisconsin AFL-CIO distributed masks made by Brigade members to union workers at the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division. This was the just latest in a series of worker-to-worker mask deliveries. Sensible public policy like Governor Evers’ mask order and the can-do spirit of the Union Mask Brigade are an effective combination in our collective fight against the pandemic.