RWDSU STATEMENT: ATLANTA’S MANDATE MASKS BE WORN IN PUBLIC IS CRITICAL TO PROTECTING WORKER’S LIVES
(ATLANTA, GA) – The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) is in full support of Atlanta, Georgia Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Executive Order 2020-113, which requires all persons to wear a mask or a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth within the City of Atlanta. In response to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s announcement today banning Georgia's cities and counties from ordering people to wear masks in public places, Edgar Fields, President of the Southeast Council of the RWDSU issued the following statement:
“We unequivocally support Mayor Bottoms’ Executive Order 2020-113. This critical order requires everyone to wear a mask within the City of Atlanta, Georgia. We urge everyone, despite our Governor’s senseless attempts to stop this order, to wear a mask in all public settings. It is our only known, and only real defense against COVID-19 taking more lives of the ones we love. It's simple, wearing a mask saves lives.
“We have suffered far too many losses across our union to COVID-19. The statistics show that people of color have a higher COVID-19 mortality rate. Our members have and will continue to die from COVID-19 unless we wear masks – period. In the early days of this virus it was unclear how we could best protect ourselves, our families, and our communities. Now that we’re several months into the COVID-19 pandemic, it has never been clearer that wearing a mask is our greatest defense. Governor Kemp’s announcement today puts our members – the essential workers who have carried this nation through this crisis – lives on the line. It is disgusting, and we cannot and will not stand for it.”