Over five million people in the U.S. have lost their employer-based healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now is the time to redouble our efforts to win a universal, Medicare for All system. Read more for three actions you can take right now to build the movement for Medicare for All.
UE Political Action Updates
Essential workers have continued to ensure that we can have access to food, health care, sanitation, and other vital goods and services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet employers have failed to provide essential workers with safe conditions, appropriate equipment, safety standards, or job protections, which has led to the deaths of far too many working people. If employers will not ensure the health, well-being and financial security of all essential workers, the government must step in to protect workers’ lives.
Pennsylvania State Representative Summer Lee, who addressed UE’s 2019 convention, easily defeated a primary challenger supported by the Democratic Party establishment on Tuesday. “This is a win for all working people and all who live and are from the 34th District,” said Local 610 President Antwon "Swanny" Gibson. “Summer is the leader we need to stand up for racial justice and racial equality for an economy that functions not only for African-Americans but also for workers, the sick, and the elderly.
It is with shock and horror that we watched the murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minnesota this week. Along with the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, it serves as a reminder that Black lives simply do not matter to many of the people who run our society or the police forces who enforce their laws.
On May 15, Senator Bernie Sanders and Representatives Pramila Jayapal and Karen Bass introduced the Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act. It would have Medicare pay for all necessary medical expenses for all uninsured Americans, including those tens of millions of unemployed workers who have lost their employment-based health insurance. Medicare would also pay for all out-of-pocket expenses for those currently covered by private insurance or any public insurance plan (including traditional Medicare).
Reacting to Senator Bernie Sanders’ announcement this morning that he is suspending his 2020 presidential campaign, UE General President Carl Rosen said that “In his two presidential campaigns, Bernie Sanders highlighted the way corporations and billionaires have corrupted our democracy and showed that by standing together, working people can successfully fight back. He has fundamentally changed American politics, making pro-worker policies like Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage, and strengthening workers’ ability to join unions central to political debate.”
UE officers: In order to bring the COVID-19 public health crisis under control, we must shut down all workplaces except those truly critical to sustaining life; give workers in those critical jobs everything they need to do their work safely and compensate them for the immense risk they are taking; and provide robust economic support for everyone else to allow and incentivize them to stay home.
A coalition of hundreds of worker, community and environmental organizations, including UE, launched a new People’s Bailout campaign yesterday, to demand that congressional coronavirus responses focus on the needs of working people.
“Now is the time for bold actions that will not only save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, but also create an economy that works for working people,” said UE General President Carl Rosen.
In early January, President Trump took us to the brink of war with Iran when he approved the assassination of Iranian general Soleimani. UE has endorsed anti-war rallies taking place across the country on Saturday, January 25, and encourages UE members and allies to attend.
The proposed replacement of NAFTA, now known as the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), remains a tool for corporate interests and provides insufficient relief to address the problems for working people embedded in the original agreement. At their core, these trade agreements serve to guarantee corporate investments in foreign countries and stop elected governments from passing measures that might impact corporate profitability while offering no real guarantees to workers in exchange.