Our nation is confronting a three-pronged crisis: a public health pandemic, an economic free-fall, and the impact of racism lingering generation after generation. The issues of all three are inter-related and must be solved together, with legislation, public policies and community action which support our members and their families. The AFL-CIO Agenda to address all three crises recognizes the need for safe jobs, economic security and freedom from systemic racism.
In these difficult times, the Long Island Federation of Labor recognizes the contributions of our members – our heroes – on the front lines. These are essential workers who keep us fed, keep us healthy and make sure our government continues to function under unusually trying circumstances.
Pictured below are scenes from two car caravans. The first honored workers in the food chain, farm workers and grocery store workers, members of my union, Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW and UFCW Local 1500; the event was organized by the Rural and Migrant Ministry which is working with us to bring union representation to New York’s farm workers for the first time. The second, organized by 1199 SEIU thanked the health care workers across Long Island who have put in incredible hours caring for the sick at great risk to themselves and their families.
On Saturday, June 20th, at 11 A.M., SEIU 32BJ will commemorate Justice for Janitors Day outside the Nassau County Legislature (Roosevelt Building). It will memorialize the struggles over many years to achieve dignity for America’s service workers. All those attending must wear masks and practice social distancing.
Download and share the above graphic on social media. It is important especially for your out of state contacts to share this graphic to help push their Senators to support the bill.
What needs to be done?
The U.S. Senate should immediately pass the HEROES Act, which has already been passed in the House of Representatives. It is the economic roadmap to recovery and must be linked to other legislation to establish racial and economic justice. These are the five essentials:
- Keep America’s Frontline Workers Safe by adopting OSHA workplace standards for safety and health.
- With record high joblessness, unemployment benefits must be extended and pensions protected.
- State and local governments, our public schools and the U.S. Postal Service must be kept solvent and functioning with federal assistance.
- Keep America healthy. It is estimated that 27 million Americans have lost their health care; the HEROES Act provides 100% federal support for COBRA extensions preserving laid-off workers’ health insurance and free COVID-19 treatment.
- Public investment in America’s infrastructure is needed to jump start the economy.
We demand that our elected leaders – at every level of government – step up during this time of unprecedented challenge. Any meaningful recovery will require that our government prioritize working families while addressing systemic injustice.