For immediate release
March 25, 2020
Senate Democrats Hold the Line on Corporate Welfare, Improve Focus on Workers
Statement from UNITE HERE International President D. Taylor:
At the end of March, millions of laid off Americans will start losing their employer-provided health insurance, but the two trillion-dollar COVID-19 response does virtually nothing to provide an emergency healthcare backstop to every worker who needs it in this country. Those laid off will not have employer covered health care. The exchanges offer high deductible plans that make treatment cost-prohibitive. During this health care crisis, shouldn’t companies getting emergency taxpayer money be required to keep their laid off taxpayers covered?
9/11 was a security crisis, the 2008 recession was an economic crisis, and today we are facing a healthcare crisis. The latest COVID-19 legislation still leaves the health needs of most Americans in dire straits.
We commend Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator Sherrod Brown, and the Senate Democrats for their tireless work to bring the latest COVID-19 legislation into some balance with more help for workers and families. The package makes gains in unemployment insurance, better oversight of funds to constrain runaway corporate welfare giveaways, and other needed investments to bolster long-overdue investments in our front-line health workers.
But at a time of a global pandemic, too much of the healthcare needs of Americans remain on the cutting room floor. We are particularly incensed by the bailout of the airline industry that lacks any aid for airline catering workers, essential workers who are still going to work in order to put food on the planes.
Our union team has been tirelessly leading the fight in Washington to improve the latest legislative package to put workers and families first, not corporations. We are committed to ensuring Congress does not pass another top down, GOP-led corporate welfare bailout of big business that ignores the real health care and economic needs of all frontline workers.