Bloomberg Industry union to CEO: Please reconsider return to office
The union that represents journalists at Bloomberg Industry Group sent the following to CEO Josh Eastright:
You may be aware that Alex Ruoff of Bloomberg Government and Billy House of Bloomberg News just reported that the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee postponed a hearing today after some of its members were potentially exposed to Covid-19.
This follows yesterday’s updated guidance from the CDC recommending that fully vaccinated people wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.
The CDC’s table for cumulative cases per 100,000 in the last seven days, updated July 27, showed that DC’s case rate was at the “substantial” level of 52.
Already, the close-neighboring City of Alexandria is also reporting a substantial transmission level and recommends wearing masks in public indoor settings.
Despite these fully foreseeable developments, about which the Guild has previously warned (See, e.g., my note of July 20), INDG required virtually all employees to return to the office at least two days this week. INDG is currently permitting fully vaccinated employees to walk about the building unmasked and to hold meetings at half-capacity unmasked in conference rooms.
Under the current conditions of rising community spread due to the Delta variant, employees should not be required to work in the office at all. The work employees of INDG perform does not require in-person collaboration, the past year and a half has shown that it can be and has been done remotely, and very little of the collaboration currently happening in the office is happening other than through the remote technologies we’ve been using since February of 2020.
To the extent that anyone is working in the office–and again, no one should be so required–all employees should be practicing masking and social distancing based on the new CDC guidance and recent local developments described above.
We urge INDG to take the health and wellbeing of its workforce seriously and to reconsider its return-to-office policies in light of these changes in the dynamics of the pandemic.