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Teamsters to UCSB: Protect Worker Safety

Earlier today Secretary-Treasurer Jason Rabinowitz sent a letter to UCSB Chancellor Yang demanding that the University send all employees home with pay due to the unsafe conditions caused by the smoke blanketing the campus.  A copy of the letter to Chancellor Yang can be found here.

Chancellor Yang canceled classes at UCSB for the remainder of the day. Yet the campus remains open and operational, meaning that we are expected to continue to work despite the dangerous air quality. This reckless decision places our health in jeopardy.

In the meantime, the Teamsters stand together to ensure that every employee has the right to a safe and healthy workplace.  The Thomas Fire continues to lay a dense layer of smoke and ash over Santa Barbara and Goleta. The Santa Barbara Air Pollution Control District reports levels of smoke and ash (particulate matter) reaching unhealthy and even hazardous levels.

California law protects workers from unsafe and unhealthy work environments. If you are feeling unwell due to smoky conditions in your workplace you should immediately notify your supervisor and seek medical attention.  If diagnosed with a medical condition or injury caused by unsafe and unhealthy working conditions you may be eligible for benefits pursuant to the California Workers’ Compensation Act.  Remember: the health risks associated with smoke inhalation may be present even if you cannot see or smell the smoke in your immediate vicinity as the smoke and ash particles spread through the air.

 If you notify your supervisor that you are feeling unwell as a result of being required to work under these conditions but are not permitted to leave work, contact your Union Representative immediately.

The health and safety of the UCSB community is paramount and that includes the women and men whose work makes the University work.  We care about your health and safety in the Teamsters.

If you need help or have any questions related to any aspect of this emergency situation contact your Union Representative.

In Solidarity,


Jason Rabinowitz

Hector Fernandez
Skilled Trades Director

Laurence Young
UCSB Union Representative

Teamsters Local 2010
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