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AFL-CIO Urges Senate to Protect Workers During Pandemic

In response to the precarious situation America’s workforce finds itself, the AFL-CIO issued a letter on Tuesday, March 17, to Senators urging them to ensure workers’ safety and economic wellbeing as seen in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201).

The legislation, which passed in the House by a vote of 363-40, would provide free testing for COVID-19 for most employees covered by employment-based insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid. The bill would also expand the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program and federal funded school lunch programs, securing access to food for those in need. Additionally, as the legislation currently stands, it would also provide for measures for front line healthcare workers to guarantee their own safety and construct a plan to mitigate exposure of healthcare facilities to COVID-19. The AFL-CIO, of which NPMHU is an affiliate, urged members of the Senate to protect this provision and guarantee that it would include those in public and private healthcare facilities. The AFL-CIO did warn, however, that a payroll tax cut, which has been supported by the White House, would be have no benefit to those unemployed, and would be damaging to Social Security. As workers are being laid-off due to the economic downturn caused by COVID-19, and the virus is disproportionately impacting the elderly, those who rely on Social Security, a payroll tax cut would not benefit everyone impacted by the pandemic.

AFL-CIO set up a hotline to easily contact your Senators on this vital issue. Please call them with the urgent message to support H.R. 6201 and working Americans. 

The response to COVID-19 cannot just be a medical one. Congress must act to protect Americans’ jeopardized financial security as well in order for a full recovery.

AFL-CIO Letter to Senators on H.R. 6201 (pdf)

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