Workers Across All Industries Call to Protect ALL Workers
Times of national emergency require us all to move beyond business as usual. We must come together as a nation and demand that our elected representatives at all levels act with urgency to protect all workers, no matter their race or where they are from. But we must also demand that the largest, wealthiest, and most powerful corporations and industries show leadership by looking past their bottom lines to do what’s right for workers.
We demand immediate, sweeping action by major industries, corporations, and government to secure the health, safety and long-term economic well-being of working people across America regardless of where they work, their race, their immigration status, or current healthcare coverage. Workers are on the front lines of this crisis -- caring for the sick, the young and the elderly, cleaning homes, offices, and public spaces, picking up trash, cooking, serving and delivering food, and providing other essential services that cannot be put on hold.
Our nation’s largest and wealthiest corporations, who are responsible for the inequality and economic vulnerability of millions, must now take responsibility for the health of our nation, for the communities on whose work they depend, and for the long-term financial health and security of all workers in our country. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the deep cracks and divides in our system. Millions of Americans are paid so little they live paycheck to paycheck, working unreliable and insecure work schedules without healthcare coverage or paid leave. Workers of Asian Pacific Islander descent are facing growing racist and xenophobic attacks as some politicians try to point the finger and divide us. And too many workers are unable to join together in unions to ensure a voice on the job to raise wages and improve working conditions.
There must be no blank checks for corporations like McDonald’s or United Airlines. If they refuse to act in the best interests of working people, our government must mandate they do so. Systems and structures such as contracting and franchising, designed to evade responsibilities to workers and for costs, must be superseded by new corporate commitments to take care of workers who face the most risk of dangerous illness or financial calamity. And America’s largest and wealthiest corporations must pay their fair share to invest in critical public services and infrastructure that are too often starved -- from healthcare to public safety and schools -- so that all people can rely on these systems, all the time, in this and in the next crisis.
We demand solutions that are built together with workers:
- Fully-funded and accessible healthcare for every worker in America, including paid leave and 100%-paid testing and treatment for COVID-19. Corporations must provide full healthcare coverage to direct and franchise employees and contractors. Any uninsured person not covered by their employer should automatically be enrolled in Medicaid. In addition, every worker must be covered by permanent, comprehensive paid leave policies, providing immediate access to 12 weeks’ leave at full pay for workers who are sick, mandated to stay home, or need to care for their loved ones.
- Job, wage, and economic security for every worker. Establish industry funds to reimburse in full any wages lost by workers whose hours or jobs have been cut or cut back. These funds must cover direct and franchise employees and contractors, and must provide regular payments, compensating tipped workers at a rate of at least $15/hr. In addition, industries must provide easily accessed emergency child care funds, debt-relief, and housing assistance.
- Immediate investment in the health and safety of every worker. Provide emergency relief for states to hire and train more healthcare workers and first responders, and expand healthcare, long term care, and child care coverage. Corporations and industries should take aggressive, immediate measures to ensure clean, safe, and sanitary work environments and protection from infection during this health crisis, with continuing access to personal protective equipment and training, now and in the future.
- Working families at the center of every emergency relief package. Elected leaders of every party, at all levels of government, must act to put the health, safety, and financial well-being of America’s workers first in their efforts to address this crisis. Any industry relief or bailout must prioritize healthcare and financial support for workers over executive pay, shareholders or profits. Further, these relief efforts must directly address the disproportionate impact of economic and health crises on Black, brown, Asian Pacific Islander, and immigrant workers.
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