The labor movement has been among the leaders in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is our goal to achieve a safe and healthy reopening of our regional economy by working with local unions to assess the risks in their workplaces. In order to instill confidence in all New Yorkers as we enter the next phase of this pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo has appointed a "control room" for each region of the state to monitor the effects and advise him on the logistics of the reopening process. The members of Long Island's regional control room are: Steve Bellone, Suffolk County Executive; Laura Curran, Nassau County Executive; Tracey Edwards, LI Director of the NAACP; Eric Gertler, Regional Control Room Captain and President and CEO of Empire State Development; Kevin Law, President and CEO of the Long Island Association; and myself, as President of Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW and the Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.
We still have a long way to go and it is important that we protect all workers on Long Island from COVID-19. All of the members of the regional control room recognize how important it is for us to get the reopening process right. As an appointee I will keep my focus on the following concepts: keeping frontline workers safe, getting as many workers back to work as possible, working with our federal partners to keep our state and local governments solvent and functioning, and keeping our region competitive through investments in infrastructure. Stay safe, take all precautions necessary to protect yourself and your families, and stay tuned as we inch closer to phase one of reopening.