(THUNDER BAY, ON) – A number of city workers spoke up about what has them terrified at the moment but only on the condition of anonymity as they fear reprisal for speaking to media.
The workers raise valid points, such as how are they supposed to practise “social distancing” when the workers, who are performing non-essential tasks, are unable to do when they are all packed into a work truck.
“The health and safety of our residents and employees is paramount,” said Mayor Bill Mauro. “We are being responsible and acting out of an abundance of caution as the COVID-19 situation and our response continues to evolve.”
The city is pushing “social distancing” as a means of remaining safe in the current public health crisis. This requires people to stay about 2 metres away from each other at all times. The workers fear that if one of them were to fall ill with the coronavirus COVID-19, all of them and their loved ones would soon fall ill as well.
The workers also share tools and touch the same surfaces all day while performing non-essential tasks such as taking down the skating rinks in large groups of workers. Filling potholes in the cold is also something that the workers work closely with each other doing. The workers believe this is a waste of time as cold-filling the potholes only serves as a temporary fix as the paving only really sticks when the ground and the mix are warm.
The city has a pothole filling machine, which requires one man. This machine should be utilized instead of having groups of men working in tight groups. Considering a majority of the city and society is shut down, most potholes could have their repairs put off for the time being as the world faces this pandemic.
Mayor Bill Mauro, city workers are also our residents. Please evolve the city plan regarding the health and safety of these workers and attempt to eliminate or at least reduce the risk these hard workers are facing, all in the name of non-essential tasks. Let’s not downplay this, people are dying around the world every day, more and more.