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Barge Companies Want National COVID Vaccination Plan for their Workers

Companies that move goods on US rivers, lakes, and oceans need a national plan to immunize their workers against the coronavirus.

That's what Del Wilkins told Congress last month (video below). He's the Vice Chair of American Waterways Operators, a national trade association of the barge industry.

Michelle O'Neill reports.

Credit submitted / American Waterways Operators
American Waterways Operators
Del Wilkins, Vice Chair of American Waterways Operators

Wilkins emphasized the need for Congress to pass the Maritime Transportation Systems Emergency Relief Act.

He calls it the "CARES Act" for the industry that would benefit a small but critical number of employees.

One challenge for barge companies is for workers to remain healthy while at home.

Wilkins says employees have all been taught to follow all the CDC guidelines.

In addition, maritime and shipping companies stopped transferring workers between barges to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Wilkins also says American Waterways Operators support an infrastructure package that includes maritime projects such as lock and dam improvements.

Officially, Michelle's title for 28 years was WVIK News Editor. She did everything there is to do in the newsroom and whatever was needed around the radio station. She also served as Acting News Director from September 2023 - January 2024.
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