GSU is asking employers what measures and responses they are taking to protect you in response to Covid-19

You can read GSU general secretary Hugh Wagner’s email to employers, below.

If you have problems or concerns as you are dealing with Covid-19 responses in your workplace, don’t hesitate to contact your GSU staff rep. Contact information is available here.

March 16, 2020

RE: Response to COVID-19 Virus

I am writing to address measures and responses to the COVID-19 virus.

Please advise what occupational health and safety measures [you] will be
taking to address and prevent COVID-19 virus exposure or spread in the

In addition, although there are existing provisions of the collective
agreements that address sick leave and/or family related leave the COVID-19 virus situation is extraordinary and dynamic. Accordingly, please advise what income protection measures [the company] is willing to extend to employees who unable to report for work as a result of their own health-related concerns and/or child care and family care responsibilities stemming from the COVID-19 virus and related public health directives.

This is a complex societal problem requiring exceptional measures and GSU is willing to work with [the company] to ensure that the health and safety of
employees and the community are protected.

GSU proposes the following for your consideration.

  1. Where possible employees should be enabled to work from home
    without loss of pay or benefits.
  2. Employees whose work cannot be fulfilled remotely should be assured that the maximum workplace health and safety protective measures are in place and are clearly communicated.
  3. Employees who are required to be absent from work as a result of health concerns and/or family care responsibilities should be able to respond to those concerns and responsibilities without loss of pay or benefits and should not be required to provide physicians’ notes.
  4. Employees who are advised not to report for work or are sent home as a result of curtailment or shutdown of operations should not suffer any loss of pay or benefits.

GSU realizes that the response to the COVID-19 virus requires socially
responsible actions and solidarity. Our collective response also requires
trust and we assure you that we will work with [you] in good faith.


Hugh Wagner General Secretary
Grain and General Services Union