Senate Passes Coronavirus Relief Bill But More Remains to Be Done to Help Working People

CWA legislative activists have been engaging with their members of Congress and Senators to make sure that the coronavirus emergency relief bill addresses the needs of working people, not just CEOs and Wall Street.

The bill passed yesterday by the Senate includes $58 billion in grants and loans for the airline industry. In a major victory, the bill includes a ban on involuntary furloughs and layoffs by those airlines receiving the funds. It also includes restrictions on stock buybacks and executive compensation for airlines accepting assistance, despite objections from the Senate Republican leadership and corporate executives.

The bill would also send checks directly to over 150 million households, boost funds for unemployment insurance, and provide increased support for schools, hospitals, and state and local governments. The House of Representatives is expected to pass the bill later this week. For more information about how the bill affects CWA members, visit https://cwa-union.org/cares-act-summary.

While these gains are important, much work remains to be done to address this crisis.

More must be done quickly to ensure that healthcare workers and other front line workers have the equipment that they need to safely and effectively handle cases of coronavirus.

Regulatory agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that have been weakened by the Trump Administration need to be fully staffed with new standards and increased funds to make sure that employers are not putting workers' lives in jeopardy. More will be needed to ensure that employers keep workers on their payrolls instead of taking recovery money, spending it on stock buybacks and executive compensation, then shipping jobs overseas.

Republican lawmakers must stop standing in the way of requiring paid sick days and family leave for all workers, not just in response to the current coronavirus crisis, but so that those benefits are in place for workers and families to deal with future crises and life events.

To receive updates on legislative issues, visit https://actionnetwork.org/forms/sign-up-to-the-cwa-collective-briefing.