Legislative Alert

Letter Supporting Senate Legislation That Would Protect Employees and Retirees in Bankruptcies

Dear Senator:

The AFL-CIO urges you to co-sponsor the "Protecting Employees and Retirees in

Business Bankruptcies Act of 2020 (S. 4089)" introduced by Senator Richard Durbin. S. 4089 would prevent corporations from using the bankruptcy system to slash wages and benefits for current workers and break their promises to retirees.

Bankruptcies in the retail, energy, manufacturing, steel, airline and auto industries have destroyed the lives of tens of thousands of working families. The Durbin bill would protect more of what workers and retirees are owed, and prevent company executives from using bankruptcy as a business strategy to enrich themselves while stealing from their workers. This legislation would ensure that workers would recover far more than they do today in lost wages, benefits, and other earnings when their employer declares bankruptcy.

S. 4089 would also bar companies from leaving pension and health benefits intact for corporate executives if they cut or eliminate such benefits for rank-and-file workers. Finally, the bill would restore collective bargaining as the primary method to consider reducing employment costs when a company experiences financial difficulty. We urge you to cosponsor the Protecting Employees and Retirees in Business Bankruptcies Act of 2020.

William Samuel
Director, Government Affairs