We are excited to be a part of the Reopen Michigan Safely coalition with our fellow chambers of commerce.
While the public has been very focused on the state COVID-19 health orders which impact the economy, we think it is very important to also bring the issue of the MIOSHA emergency orders to light, as well.
As we know, Zoom is helpful but it simply does not replace the need for in-person work in complex situations.
I think we have all learned, it’s hard to innovate and collaborate from our kitchen tables.
Our voices need to be heard now, because under the current rules:
• Businesses are stagnating or going bankrupt, causing jobs to disappear forever.
• Our downtowns and local governments are being crushed economically.
• Many suffer from a sense of isolation and are ready to return to offices, safely.
By forming this coalition, we want to elevate the voices of our job creators during this time that the Governor is deliberating whether to renew the soon-to-expire MIOSHA office shut down orders, modify them, or decline to renew them.
What we want her to hear is that we believe she should TRUST job creators and their employees to work together to Reopen Michigan safely.
We have a large amount of information about COVID-19 and the safety protocols are well-known.
We believe the governor should move to eliminate the full ban on in-office work and, again, trust businesses and employees to follow safety protocols and determine what works for them, so we can protect jobs and businesses from withering away or full-on collapsing.
This is urgent because Michigan’s office ban expires on April 14th.
Since the press conference held by the Chamber Federation on Thursday March 4th, the governor has announced that she "hopes to begin bringing workers back into office spaces in the coming weeks, potentially ahead of the April 14 expiration of an emergency rule that banned in-office work."
The coalition was "encouraged" that the governor appeared to be listening to businesses and advocated the businesses themselves should be trusted to develop their own plans to safely return.
John Sellek, a spokesman for the coalition said, “We look forward to seeing the details on how we can work together, but our jobs, downtowns and cities are hanging in the balance each day that goes by without a plan.”
Because we have no details on how Gov. Whitmer's comments, made during a radio interview, will translate into action, the Coalition will keep spreading the word about Reopen Michigan Safely.