On Wednesday, representatives of Teamsters Local 700 and Dr. Peter Orris, a nationally renowned doctor with 40 years of experience in occupational and environmental medicine, walked through the Cook County Department of Corrections (CCDOC) to make recommendations for emergency protocols needed for the membership to properly protect themselves against contracting COVID-19 while working. At the urging of Local 700, the CCDOC administration accepted an evaluation by Dr. Orris to determine the critical safety measures needed among the compound.
Representatives of Local 700 that escorted Dr. Orris through the compound to observe current working conditions were Vice President and Business Agent Anthony L. McGee, Chief Steward David Evans, Assistant Chief Steward and Recording Secretary Eddie Kern and Assistant Chief Steward Bill Hogueisson. Specifically, the group walked through Division 5, the bridge, intake, receiving, RTU and Cermak. Members of the CCDOC administration were also present.
Dr. Orris is expected to present his recommendations soon to Local 700 and the CCDOC administration.
“We are relying on the expertise of Dr. Orris to let us know what absolutely needs to get done to protect the members at CCDOC during this COVID-19 pandemic. It is the Sheriff’s responsibility to ensure the safety of our members, and we intend to hold him accountable,” said Teamsters Local 700 President Ramon D. Williams. “At this point, this is a matter of life or death, and any missteps in a crisis of this magnitude are simply unacceptable. Local 700 will never undervalue the work of the members at CCDOC and getting the proper protection for them is our number one priority. We will not stop fighting until this gets done. This is one of many steps that Local 700 is willing to take to protect our members during this crisis and we are prepared to do what is necessary to achieve health and safety for all.”
More about Dr. Peter Orris
Dr. Orris is currently the Chief of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago Hospital. He holds professorships on the faculties of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Rush University Medical College in preventive and internal medicine. Dr. Orris has served as adviser to the World Health Organization (WHO), local, state, and federal governments, environmental organizations and labor unions.