As our nation and our world takes measures to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, workers need effective rank-and-file unions more than ever, to make sure workers’ voices are heard as decisions are being made which impact our health, our jobs, and our ability to provide for our families.
In this section of our website you will find suggestions for maintaining local union functioning, demands locals should consider making on employers, suggestions for what to do if COVID-19 comes into your workplace, and summaries of two pieces of recent legislation:
- The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act, H.R. 748) includes expanded unemployment insurance, forgivable loans to help employers with less than 500 workers maintain payroll, direct payments to adults, and aid for state and local governments, homeowners and renters, and students.
- The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) includes measures to cover COVID-19 testing, provide paid sick leave, strengthen unemployment insurance benefits, and keep working people from going without food.
NEW (4/6): We have posted a new toolkit, “The Fight of Our Lives,” to help workers who don't have a union take on their employers and demand a safe workplace during the pandemic.
NEWS (4/6): UE's officers have released a statement, “The Relief Workers Need Now,” outlining the kind of federal action that will be needed in order to ensure that all people have food, shelter, healthcare, and telecommunications to stay connected through the length of the public health crisis, and to avoid the potential of an economic depression not seen since the 1930’s.
NEWS (3/30): UE's officers have released a statement, “Workers’ Lives vs. Corporate Profits,” calling on workers in non-essential workplaces to demand that their employers shut down until the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control, and to take advantage of provisions in the CARES Act to provide income for their families.
UPDATE (3/30 and 3/26): We have updated the HR 6201 Fact Sheet to clarify which workers have access to paid sick leave/paid family leave (in the “Certain workers gain access to paid sick leave/paid family leave” section).
NEWS (3/25): UE Joins Call for “People’s Bailout”
We will be updating this page over the coming days; please check back regularly.