As concerns are raised about the Black lives lost to the police, essential workers and community advocates are also raising concerns about the continued inadequate protection of frontline workers, especially the impact on Black workers who make up the largest percentage of the city’s essential workforce.

To ensure the protection of workers during this re-opening, a coalition of 87 labor unions and community leaders is urging Gov. Cuomo to issue NY H.E.R.O. (Health and Essential Rights Order), which will require employers to provide enforceable health and safety standards in the workplace for all workers, empower workers to raise concerns about health and safety, and protect workers from retaliation when they speak out.

The coalition warns that the re-opening should not be a return to “normalcy.” Without more protections, Black workers who have already suffered disproportionate cases and deaths due to COVID-19, could be put in danger. Black and Latino people comprise the majority of essential workers who are not adequately protected and have been fired for raising concerns about health and safety.