The Heroes Act protects, compensates essential workers

The Heroes Act (HR 6800), which the US House passed last Friday, is an important next step in our country’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, providing compensation and critical health and safety protections for workers. CWA supported the passage of the Heroes Act. 

The bill contains provisions that will support employment for CWA members and allow them to continue to serve their communities, including funding for state and local public services, internet access for schools and families, and access for local news outlets to the Paycheck Protection Program. It provides premium pay for essential workers in a number of key sectors to fairly compensate them for the risks they have been taking by staying on the job during this crisis. The bill improves access to paid leave for millions of workers, includes new payments to individuals to offset lost pay, extends unemployment insurance and helps prevent foreclosures and evictions.

“Speaker Pelosi and her leadership team listened to the concerns of working people, especially those who have been on the front lines of this crisis, and made protecting their health and providing fair compensation a focus of this legislation,” said CWA President Chris Shelton. “Donald Trump quickly declared he would veto the bill, alarmed that it closes loopholes that provide tax breaks to the super-rich. He needs to get his priorities straight and stop acting like the best way to recover from this pandemic is to pretend like it doesn’t exist.”

The bill requires the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to do something that should have been done at the outset of the pandemic if the Trump Administration really cared about workers: establish an Emergency Temporary Standard to protect those who have been on the front lines of this crisis, interacting with the public and risking exposure to the novel coronavirus every day. It also establishes funding and coordination to ensure that they have access to badly-needed personal protective equipment. 

It establishes standards and funding to ensure that elections can be held safely, without jeopardizing the health of voters.

Links:

The Heroes Act protects and compensates essential workers (CWA, May 19, 2020)