Sara Lonardo

Issued March 06, 2021

SEIU’s Henry: American Rescue Plan strong first step, more bold action needed for working families

$15 critical to recover fully from pandemic

WASHINGTON—SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement on Senate passage of the American Rescue Plan:

“Essential workers have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic for a year, keeping our country fed, cared for, clean and safe. The American Rescue Plan is a strong first step towards real relief for working families. State and local aid will keep our public employees on the job, $1,400 stimulus checks will be a lifeline for working people struggling to make ends meet, and more funding for COVID-19 testing and vaccinations will keep everyone safe as we continue to tackle the pandemic.

“But this relief is incomplete without a $15 minimum wage. Senators made a decision to keep 32 million people in poverty. Working people went to the polls last year in unprecedented circumstances and they expect to be heard. Working people elected this administration and Congress to raise wages to $15.

“This pandemic did not create the overlapping health, economic and racial crises working people are facing, but it has made clear how many families of all races are struggling and that Black, brown and indigenous communities must be at the center of our recovery and relief efforts.

“The American Rescue Plan is only the first step. Tens of millions of Americans have to go to work tomorrow for less than $15 an hour. They need bold, transformative solutions. Congress has more work to do for essential workers.”