For immediate release
January 15, 2021
Last night, President-Elect Biden released a proposal for an emergency COVID-19 rescue package that would provide direct relief to working families. This is welcome news for over 300,000 UNITE HERE members – among them housekeepers, dishwashers, casino attendants, and others in the hospitality industry – who have felt the acute sting of this pandemic. Many still struggle to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads, while GOP lawmakers have dragged their feet and callously looked the other way.
UNITE HERE will be paying close attention to the proposal to ensure access to health coverage through full government subsidization of COBRA. In the midst of a healthcare crisis, virtually nothing has been done to secure healthcare for those who are losing it, or can’t afford to keep it. Backing of full-funding for COBRA and the other health care issues in the Biden proposal are non-negotiable items for our union and millions of others during this global pandemic. In addition, our union applauds the extension of expanded unemployment insurance, a raise in the federal minimum wage to $15, and the extension to the eviction moratorium.
This package is a good start, and something that would not even be on the table if nearly 2,000 laid-off UNITE HERE members and our partners had not stepped up to ensure voter turnout in the General Election and then again in the Georgia runoff elections. But we know that there is a long road ahead to see this proposal come to fruition. UNITE HERE stands ready to push our elected leaders to do the right thing.