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The needs of working people must take center stage in COVID-19 policy debates

Washington, DC – Larry Willis, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issues this statement as lawmakers respond to health, safety, and economic threats posed by the widespread transmission of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19):

“As government leaders respond to the widespread transmission of COVID-19, the needs of working families must take center stage in policy debates. In addition to protecting the health and safety of working people, lawmakers must also act to mitigate threats to our economy posed by this virus.

“Any efforts to stimulate the economy and protect critical industries cannot just be exercises in corporate welfare that benefit only the wealthiest among us. Lawmakers must ensure any economic stimulus reaches those who need relief the most — including the frontline transportation and service industry workers who stand to be disproportionately impacted by travel slowdowns and stock market drops.

“Lawmakers must pursue commonsense policies, like mandatory paid sick leave, so that working people do not have to choose between taking care of their families and reporting to work sick. Any workers who are laid off or see reduced work hours as a result of the coronavirus must continue to receive the resources they need to keep food on the table and care for sick loved ones. And elected leaders must ensure any corporations that receive stimulus funding do not use federal dollars to outsource or offshore good jobs.

“Transportation labor is committed to ensuring working people are not left behind as debates around coronavirus continue. We look forward to working with Congress to find solutions that keep our economy strong and benefit the hardworking women and men who keep America moving.”

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