Statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on introduction of updated HEROES Act in the House:
The updated legislation introduced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is a promising, good-faith effort to push negotiations on long-overdue COVID-19 relief forward. It is geared toward helping the people who need it most: front-line workers, the unemployed, the uninsured, retirees and all those who rely on critical public services like schools, fire and emergency medical services, sanitation, and child care. It includes many of the essential elements of the original HEROES Act, including a strong federal workplace infectious disease standard and critical multiemployer pension relief, and provides new funding to keep aviation workers on the job, all at a price tag designed to bring Senate Republicans and the White House back to the table.
If this bill does spark a new round of talks, the labor movement will strongly advocate for the addition of COBRA health insurance subsidies. In addition, as we said in May, since there is no consensus among our unions about the GROW Act, we would suggest that there be further review and debate on this provision as the HEROES Act moves toward enactment.
With the coronavirus surging across the country, it is time for President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and their allies to stop playing politics with our lives and livelihoods. Working people will not rest until a resolution is achieved, and we will never forget who abandoned us in our time of need.
Contact: Carolyn Bobb (202) 637-5018