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American Workers to US Congress: Do your job.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

On this Labor Day America faces a crises on three critical fronts: a public health pandemic, an economic free fall and long-standing structural racism.  We must address all three together.

In 2020, it is more clear than ever before in my lifetime that working Americans have picked up the mantle of leadership.  We are the glue that’s holding our country together.  It’s time for Mitch McConnell and the President to do their jobs. They must pass and sign the HEROES Act.

The HEROES Act is focused on keeping front-line workers safe and secure and halting a national recession.  It requires the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue an emergency temporary standard on infectious disease.   It recognizes that we can’t fix the economy without defeating the virus; and we can’t defeat the virus without keeping workers safe. Essential workers are directly exposed to the virus and are disproportionately people of color.

The HEROES Act does so much more to address our country’s urgent needs.  It keeps state and local governments funded; it keeps America healthy by providing COBRA extensions for workers who lose their health care as well as free COVID -19 treatment; it restores unemployment benefits which ran out last month, a lifeline for working families and our economy; it keeps the U.S. Postal service solvent and working; and it makes essential investments in local infrastructure to get our economy moving again.

As the new school year begins parents, teachers, school based health workers and school staff are tackling new obstacles and taking on new costs to achieve a safe and secure school environment for all.  The HEROES Act will provide the resources to allow our schools to open safely and prevent layoffs when our communities can least afford it.

On May 15, 2020 the United States House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act.  Congressman Zeldin was the only member of the Long Island delegation to vote against it.  Senate Republicans chose to go on vacation instead of tackling the country’s urgent problems head on.  Our labor movement and American workers have made clear their dedication to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.  You can let our elected officials know that actions matter and make a difference with your vote on Election Day.