Bloomberg Industry union to CEO: Please reconsider return to office
The union that represents staffers at Bloomberg Industry Group sent the following to CEO Josh Eastright:
The Guild has previously emphasized to you and the labor-management committee our concerns, backed by the support of more than half the bargaining unit, about INDG’s rushed return-to-office plans. We were rebuffed and told that INDG’s plan for a mandatory return to the office beginning the week of July 26 was neither subject to bargaining nor change.
The pandemic has now taken a turn for the worse. Covid-19 cases are skyrocketing across the country. The New York Times reports that in Virginia, cases have risen 106% over the past two weeks. In Maryland, that number is 136%. In D.C., it is 205%.
The reason is the Delta variant, which wasn’t a consideration when INDG made its initial RTO plans. The Delta variant is estimated to be 60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant, which is about 50% more transmissible than the original version of the virus, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Even vaccinated individuals are seeing diminished effectiveness against these strains, and we continue to see cases of breakthrough infection as overall transmission rates rise nationwide.
Despite these concerns, INDG is currently not requiring vaccinated employees to wear masks in the building to help mitigate spread, and it is permitting employees to hold meetings in conference rooms without masks at 50 percent capacity.
INDG employees fear returning to an office environment that could become a disease vector by which the virus can continue to spread and mutate. We fear that employees could ultimately transmit new variants of Covid-19 to unvaccinated children, immunocompromised friends and family, and the public at large.
In light of these recent developments, we are again urging the INDG to call off its July 26 mandatory deadline for returning to the office.
Other tech companies that, like Bloomberg, prioritized a swift return to the office are now announcing similar delays. Today it was reported that Apple will delay its plans to return staff to the office at least until October. We ask that INDG follow the lead of Apple and many other employers in valuing employee safety and wellbeing over a desire to hastily return to an environment we’ve dealt productively without for more than a year.
Please consider the health of your workforce.