For immediate release
April 24, 2020
UNITE HERE Union President Praises House Democrats for New Legislation to Pay Health Insurance Premiums during COVID Crisis
D. Taylor: “Workers are Faced with a Triple Threat: Loss of Job, Loss of Health Insurance, and Loss of their Life”
NEW YORK—D. Taylor, the International President of UNITE HERE, the hospitality union with over 95% of its members unemployed as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic, praised House Democrats for introducing the Worker Health Coverage Protection Act that would cover the full cost of health insurance premiums for laid-off or furloughed workers.
“We are in a healthcare crisis, yet millions are losing the one thing they need most right now: their health insurance. That is why I am pleased that Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-04), and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) introduced legislation to help workers maintain their job-based health insurance in response to an unprecedented wave of layoffs.
“One of the most powerful tools Congress can use is to provide 100% premium payments for those American workers who are unemployed, but cannot afford their insurance premiums. Working people are barely treading water right now; anything less than 100% coverage will sink them. That is why I am heartened that House Democrats are listening – and acting – with the introduction of legislation to help pay for their health insurance during the pandemic.
“We are living in an unprecedented time that requires unprecedented action by employers and government alike. Workers are faced with a triple threat: loss of job, loss of health insurance, and loss of their life due to the threat of the virus. A number of UNITE HERE union members have already been affected by loss of life or hospitalization due to COVID-19. The response by business leaders to care for their workers is increasingly pathetic; hence, the need for government to help workers in their time of peril. The substance of this new legislation must become part of the next CARES legislative package.”
UNITE HERE is a labor union that represents over 300,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, transportation, and airport industries in the U.S. and Canada.