Pax Christi USA’s regions, local groups and individual members are following up their support for the Pledge to Protect Others with concrete actions to give substance to their commitment. One of the major points pledge-signers agree to is, “To care for and advocate with those working in conditions that jeopardize their safety and those whose livelihoods are threatened because of the economic distress of this time”.
To that end, Pax Christi Illinois sent a letter to Diversi-Pak Solutions, a packaging company in Illinois, after learning that 12 workers there have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and that all of the workers were Latinx. The letter begins:
“Today we write concerning the health and well-being of our neighbors — your workers at the Diversi-Pak factory in West Chicago. It has come to our attention that at least 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections have been found — all of whom are Latino. In a County where there have been more than 6,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 300 deaths, we are concerned about all the other West Chicago workers and their families and all of DuPage County, in this time of crisis.”
Pax Christi Illinois urged the following actions from Diversi-Pak:
- Immediately close all production so that there is a complete cleaning and sterilization of the entire factory, guaranteed and inspected by the Illinois Department of Health and OSHA.
- Offer two weeks of paid sick leave to all factory workers (that is, 14 days of quarantine) to minimize the spread of the virus in your workforce.
- Test all Diversi-Pak workers for the COVID-19 virus as soon as possible and only when found virus free, bring workers back to the factory.
Using this letter as a template, other groups and individuals can consider taking action in support of workers where appropriate.
Thanks Pax Christi Illinois!