For Immediate Release
Contact: Natalia Pérez Santos

Passage of Families First Coronavirus Response Act is Important Step, Bolder Steps Needed To Support Public Service Workers

AFSCME President Lee Saunders issued the following statement calling on the House and Senate to move quickly on a stimulus package that includes robust general grant assistance to states and municipalities. These grants would allow them to continue to provide public services now and into the immediate future, when they are needed the most:

“AFSCME members continue to work around the clock, often with limited resources, on the front lines of containing this pandemic. The version of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that has now passed both houses of Congress takes important steps to protect public service workers and help all working families cope with the profound disruption to their lives.

“But this legislation could have and should have been much stronger, except that Republicans watered it down substantially, inserting loopholes and caveats to benefit businesses instead of working people.

“Congress needs to get back to work. This public health crisis shows no signs of abating, and bolder, more ambitious steps are badly needed. The urgency of this moment calls for a large stimulus plan that includes a robust expansion of aid to cash-strapped state and local governments, as well as direct financial assistance to all Americans, universal paid leave, a temporary COVID-19 worker safety standard and greatly expanded unemployment insurance to deal with enormous job losses already hitting workers everywhere.

“Public service workers are stepping up for their communities. Our elected representatives need to step up for us.”