(New York, NY) – After risking their lives to keep people safe and our economy moving for six months, with no end in sight, 32BJ’s essential workers slammed Senate Republicans’ and President Trump for devaluing their work and lives by denying them hazard pay and refusing to pass the HEROES Act. Frontline cleaners, security officers, food services workers, doormen and airport workers vowed to channel their voice into votes to ensure change in November.
“It is appalling that the Senate Republicans and President Trump would deny hazard pay to essential workers. For months, Trump and his Republican allies had the chance to follow the Democrats and pass the HEROES Act to protect essential workers,” said 32BJ SEIU President Kyle Bragg on behalf of over 175,000 essential property services workers in 11 states and D.C. “Now, instead of passing the HEROES Act, essential workers are getting executive order PR stunts as the President and Senate Republicans play politics with their lives.”
“It’s a very hard and scary situation now, the times we are living in,” said Regina Thompson, a NYC security officer and 32BJ member. “I’ve never seen anything like this. Hazard pay during the pandemic would help.”
“Over the past few months, pandemic unemployment assistance has been a lifeline for me and my family. It helped me to pay bills and to buy the supplies needed to protect me and my family during this pandemic. Taking it away right now, when this pandemic is still raging out of control, is just plain wrong,” said Elizabeth Stanton, a food service worker at Carnegie Mellon University and 32BJ member who has been out of work since the university closed its campus in March because of COVID. “Republican Members in Congress and our so called Commander in Chief should be ashamed of themselves.”
Frontline cleaners, security officers, food services workers, doormen and airport workers vowed to channel their voice into votes to ensure change in November. To date, more than 133 32BJ members have died from the COVID-19 infection, while thousands have been laid off.
The Coronavirus outbreak is revealing a long-standing divide in our country between those who can work from home, afford to see a doctor, and take sick days and those who cannot.
“Essential workers, who have performed their work heroically, will do everything in their power to help elect leaders who can fulfill their basic duty to protect them,” added Bragg. “Republicans in Washington have utterly failed to protect workers. Our lives depend on voting them out in November.”
With over 175,000 members in 11 states, 32BJ SEIU is the nation’s largest property service workers union.