Issued July 27, 2020
San Francisco, Calif. - Service Employees International Union International President Mary Kay Henry released the following statement today denouncing Republican leadership's proposed coronavirus relief bill:
“Five months into this pandemic, 40 million Americans are out of work, over four million Americans have been sickened and almost 150,000 of our brothers and sisters are dead, with communities of color shouldering the worst burden. The past four months have been a shock to the system that has awakened most Americans to the magnitude of the underlying crises - health, economic and racial - facing working Americans. Unfortunately, with the bill he proposed today, Senator McConnell has shown he still doesn’t understand the realities working people face.
“Our elected leaders should be doing everything possible to keep people safe, healthy and secure. The House of Representatives did this two months ago when they passed the HEROES Act. The legislation Mitch McConnell proposed today puts peoples’ lives at risk by forcing them back to work and schools to reopen. It absolves businesses of any responsibility for preventing outbreaks; does little to support essential workers, immigrant communities, or state and local public services; is woefully inadequate in ensuring access to quality affordable healthcare; and fails to support our democracy by not making it possible for every American to safely have their vote counted.
“Working people want to know what future we will build from this crisis. The differences between the HEROES Act and Senator McConnell’s bill make it crystal clear what is at stake this November. If Republican politicians continue to keep the status quo instead of fixing the pain and inequality working people live with every day, more Americans will die. We should never have been in this position and it’s long past time our elected leaders stepped up and accepted responsibility.”
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) unites 2 million diverse members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. SEIU members working in the healthcare industry, in the public sector and in property services believe in the power of joining together on the job to win higher wages and benefits and to create better communities while fighting for a more just society and an economy that works for all of us, not just corporations and the wealthy.