The Stand

WSLC thanks Inslee, state DOH for expanding vaccine eligibility

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As supplies increase, WSLC continues to press for ALL essential workers to be eligible

 

OLYMPIA (March 5, 2021) — Washington State Labor Council President Larry Brown issued the following statement Thursday afternoon in response to Gov. Jay Inslee’s update on vaccine availability/eligibility in Washington:

“The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO thanks Governor Inslee and the state Department of Health for recognizing that more essential workers in congregate settings should have access to the COVID-19 vaccines as quickly as possible. This is good news not just for the affected workers who face on-the-job coronavirus exposure every day, it’s good news for all Washingtonians who rely on the critical services these workers provide.

“Right now, there are many essential frontline workers who have no choice but to interact with a high volume of people every single day. They are putting themselves and their families in harm’s way just by going to work. And many of these jobs are held by Black and brown workers, whose communities have been disproportionately harmed by COVID-19. Getting these essential workers vaccinated as quickly as possible is the right thing to do for frontline workers and will bolster vaccine equity efforts.

“To the governor’s credit, Washington state has taken a science-based approach to vaccine prioritization. It continues to do so with this latest announcement. Scientists and public health experts have now confirmed that the vaccine is effective not only in preventing serious illness, but also in slowing transmission of the coronavirus. Therefore, greater emphasis on vaccinating essential workers in congregate settings is warranted in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 — including its new faster-spreading variants — among all Washingtonians.

“Unfortunately, the vaccine’s current scarcity is a familiar obstacle for working people in this country who historically have been pitted against each other in the name of false economic scarcity. Washington’s labor movement will remain united in achieving the goal of making ALL essential workers eligible for vaccination. Until then, Governor Inslee and the Washington state government continue to demonstrate strong leadership in their handling of this public health crisis.”

Widely considered to be the “voice of labor” in our state, the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, represents more than 600 union organizations with some 500,000 rank-and-file members throughout Washington state. Learn more at www.wslc.org.

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