Stimulus Bill is A down payment; Now Industry Need to Step Up
The current $2 trillion stimulus bill awaiting the President’s signature should be seen as a down payment on America’s recovery.
Millions of workers will breathe a sigh of relief today, knowing that some help is on the way.
Hospitals and healthcare workers will be relieved to see much needed funding especially for personal protective equipment.
Airport workers, who were some of the first to come into contact with the virus, and among the first to sound the alarm for relief, will be heartened to see $3 billion to save jobs for the 125,000 contracted airport workers on the frontlines of the COVID19 epidemic.
While we applaud these efforts Congress must start right away on new legislation that fixes holes in recently passed legislation.
The stimulus bill leaves immigrants out in the cold, barring Dreamers, TPS-holders, and undocumented families from accessing testing and medical services. This must be fixed. And it fails to provide the sick days for all workers and free coronavirus testing that we need to keep America healthy. Every worker in America should be able to take sick days when they need them, and get free Coronavirus testing
Lastly, we call on our country’s industry to lead. We cannot get this done without their leadership, a leadership that needs to look not only at their bottom line but the welfare of our state and our country. That means providing all workers with paid sick days and reimbursing workers who lost wages due to the virus.
Elsa Caballero is the President of SEIU Texas which unites more than 6,000 health care workers, janitors, security officers and airport workers.