Issued September 30, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 30, 2020
San Francisco, Calif. - SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement in advance of a House vote on the updated HEROES Act:
“For months, healthcare workers, people providing services on the state and local levels, janitors, fast food workers and other essential workers have called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump to protect all workers during this health and economic crisis by taking action on the HEROES Act.
“Six months ago House Democrats responded to the moment by passing the HEROES Act. But for the remainder of the spring, all summer and now into the fall congressional Republicans continued to drag their feet while more Americans got sick and died. So here we are again with Democrats trying to bring their colleagues to the table to pass important support for state and local essential services, vital funding for Medicaid and the healthcare system, and funding to keep our kids safe at school. This bill also includes a critical extension of CARES Act relief to stop the layoffs of thousands of airline employees and closes a loophole that if left open will harm contracted airport workers.
“More still needs to be done to honor the courage and commitment shown by essential workers who are risking their lives every day to serve the public and keep us safe. Our demand to elected leaders and corporations is clear: respect us, protect us, pay us. That also means passing pension and retirement policies that help everyone and don’t undermine the retirement security of hardworking essential workers.
“This bill marks yet another effort by House Democrats to deliver the help working families urgently need. Instead of starting another fight intended to divide us against each other, the White House and Republican senators should be prioritizing the health and safety of all people by passing a COVID relief package with substantial state and local aid, and that ensures all essential workers have personal protective equipment, paid sick days and a living wage. If they fail to do so we will hold them accountable at the ballot box this November.”