Press Release

AFL-CIO Unveils Working People’s Plan for Reopening the Economy the Right Way

Today, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka unveiled the safety conditions working people are demanding before the economy is reopened.

“We must do what the federal government has refused to: protect America’s workers,” said Trumka. “We should not be focusing on when we can reopen the economy but rather on how we should reopen it to ensure the health and safety of working people.”

Safety First: Working People’s Plan for Reopening the Economy the Right Way:

  1. Workers must have a say in these decisions at every level: workplace, industry, city, state and federal.
  2. Decisions must be based on worker safety and sound science.
  3. Strong, clear, and enforceable workplace health and safety standards must be in place.
  4. Workers must have stronger protections against retaliation.
  5. There must be a massive increase in adequate levels and types of personal protective equipment for workers currently on the job—and then for those returning to the job.
  6. There must be a massive increase of rapid and reliable coronavirus testing.
  7. The federal government must oversee a system of recording, reporting and tracking worker infections.
  8. Employers, in coordination with local and state public health departments, must trace the contacts of infected workers and remove exposed workers from work with pay and without retaliation.

“Worker safety, economic recovery and public health are intertwined,” Trumka said. “Moving too fast or doing too little on one front poses an extreme danger to everyone.”

Trumka emphasized how a premature reopening will endanger lives and livelihoods and lead to a rapid subsequent reclosing.

Read Trumka’s remarks.

Listen to a recording of the call.

Contact: Carolyn Bobb (202) 637-5018