Councilman Joe Buscaino tells Congress about COVID-19’s effect on Port of LA, makes push for vaccinating dock workers – Orange County Register

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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Metropolis Councilman Joe Buscaino testified earlier than the U.S. Home Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Thursday about COVID-19’s affect on native governments and important workers, and he urged the federal authorities to offer additional help.

The testimony was half of the committee’s listening to on defending transportation workers and passengers from COVID-19.

Buscaino appeared nearly on behalf of the advocacy group Nationwide League of Cities, for which he beforehand served as president and which represents practically 20,000 U.S. cities and cities.

Buscaino urged Congress to assist native governments reply to the virus in addition to recuperate and rebuild when the pandemic ends. He additionally requested the committee to take steps to guard workers within the U.S. provide chain, together with the hundreds of dock workers he represents on the Port of Los Angeles.

“I would like you to know, colleagues, that any aid Congress passes for cities will probably be used to proceed to assist our most precious asset, our folks,” Buscaino mentioned. “America’s communities are proud to have a devoted and resilient workforce of skilled and important workers who’ve saved every part operating, particularly those that are half of our nationwide provide chain.”

“Sadly, far too many have fallen in poor health or misplaced their lives … our dock workers could also be important however shouldn’t be sacrificial,” he mentioned.

He mentioned probably the most pressing safety important workers want is provides and vaccinations. On the Port of Los Angeles, 10% of longshore workers are quarantining as a consequence of COVID-19, and 30 ships are ready to unload items which were ordered on-line by American shoppers.

“That is unheard of at our port complicated,” he mentioned.

He mentioned that the misclassification of many workers — together with truck drivers — as unbiased contractors has put the provision chain in danger, as they don’t seem to be given sick depart and should “fend for themselves in opposition to a pandemic inserting their lives in danger.”

Buscaino known as for the federal authorities to “immediately associate” with native governments to assist workers and to ramp up vaccination distribution in order that important workers, like dock workers on the Port of Los Angeles, obtain vaccines.