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Minnesota: AFSCME members at Hennepin County libraries protest unsafe curbside pickup

By staff |
April 26, 2020
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AFSCME Local 2822 workers protest unsafe curbside pickup at libraries.
AFSCME Local 2822 workers protest unsafe curbside pickup at libraries. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Plymouth, MN - AFSCME members from Local 2822 and other Hennepin County library and service center workers were out protesting for the second week in a row on Friday, April 24. The protests revolve around Hennepin County’s unsafe decision to keep some libraries open for curbside pickup of books even while businesses all around have been shut down and the state is under a Stay at Home order from Governor Tim Walz.

Driver's license expiration dates and library material due dates have been extended in this time as ways to keep people safe from the COVID-19 pandemic and avoid having to put themselves in public near other people. For several weeks, the AFSCME members have been raising serious concerns over being told to come to work or risk losing income despite not having been provided a safe way to do so. They are asking for an immediate end to curbside services until a time when it is safe and adequate measures have been taken.

Some protesters stayed in their cars and honked in support and others stood outside at safe distances from each other, wearing masks and gloves to stay safe. AFSCME 2822 President Ali Fuhrman gave a speech and led the crowd in a series of chants. Cars could be heard honking along in time with the chants.

In her speech President Fuhrman said, “Workers are being put at risk by being in this building. That’s why we are calling for an immediate closing of curbside services, and giving workers remote work to do.”

Fuhrman continued, “Why is the county focusing on giving a limited number of people curbside services while the people who really need us are in desperate need of internet and technology access? That’s where our resources should be going.”

AFSCME members and other concerned workers will continue to raise these demands and any others needed to keep workers safe as long as the pandemic continues.

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