UAW President Rory L. Gamble Statement on the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act
DETROIT – The International Union, UAW announced today support for the House-passed Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act and urged the Senate to approve this important piece of economic recovery legislation as soon as possible.
The HEROES Act takes important steps for the nation as communities battle the public health and economic crisis stemming from the tragic COVID-19 pandemic.
“Working people need Congress to once again put partisan politics aside and take strong and immediate action to fight the spread of the deadly coronavirus and severe economic downturn. Our nation needs decisive measures to create a pathway for a speedy, equitable and sustained economic recovery,” said Rory L. Gamble, President of the UAW.
“We applaud Congress in passing four previous bipartisan bills in response to the pandemic. Unfortunately, the job is far from complete as fatalities mount and layoffs skyrocket,” Gamble said.
If enacted, the HEROES Act would strengthen workplace protections by forcing OSHA to do their job, helps states, localities, and territories with nearly $1 trillion in aid, and protect workers by extending Unemployment Insurance, ensuring full COBRA benefits.
These measures would mitigate the harm inflicted on workers, the economy and our communities and lay the groundwork for us to rebound from this crisis. It would address the need for income support with unemployment insurance, direct financial support, and subsidies for housing and food. It mandates a more robust, coordinated national response in fighting the virus. The HEROES Act would also require greater use of the Defense Production Act to ensure we have the supplies we need to stop the spread of this pandemic. States would no longer be forced to bid against each other and the federal government to acquire emergency supplies.
We urge the Senate to pass this important legislation that would put our country back to work and protect workers, families, and communities.
Also, the HEROES Act would protect and reward workers by issuing much needed Occupations Safety and Health Organization (OSHA) standards for safe workplaces and begin to justly compensate workers for exposing themselves to the risk of the workplace by mandating premium pay for many front-line workers. It would also reform our bankruptcy laws.
Restarting the economy is an immense challenge and the federal government’s actions and leadership will be pivotal to a successful outcome. While this needed legislation addresses many of the outstanding needs of Americans, the HEROES Act is designed to stop the bleeding and provide a lifeline.