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Essential Workers Rally For Hazard Pay, PPE In Hartford

Courtesy of SEIU 1199 New England
A screenshot of a video shows a union nursing home worker asking for personal protective equipment to keep herself and residents safe. SEIU 1199 participated in Thursday's rally in Hartford.

Connecticut lawmakers and essential workers held a rally in Hartford Thursday, calling for greater protections for those on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participants say workers in child care, fast food service, and nursing homes have not received enough personal protective equipment and have risked their lives for modest wages. 

“What we do ensures that frontline workers can continue to provide critical service. If we don’t have essential workers, we wouldn’t have stores open or hospitals running,” said Queen Freelove, a childcare provider in New Haven. 

Representative Brandon McGee, chair of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, said minority communities are the most affected in the state. 

“When we get past the heart-shaped signs, and start talking about how important the essential workers are, we see a group of diverse residents, disproportionately black and brown, whose labor has long been exploited by those in charge.” 

Participants are asking Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont to issue an executive order to guarantee workers compensation and hazard pay.

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