March 26, 2020

AFGE Urges Swift Passage of Coronavirus Stimulus Bill While Calling on Congress to Do More for Workers

Categories: Congress, Coronavirus

Massive spending bill will help federal agencies better protect workers and respond to rapidly escalating crisis, even though more support is needed

WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees is calling on the House to swiftly pass the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package approved by the Senate, while acknowledging that more still needs to be done to assist the front-line workers who are most affected.

AFGE National President Everett Kelley issued the following statement:

“This legislative package is far from perfect, but we cannot hold out for perfect when Americans are dying and front-line workers risk exposure on a daily basis due to a lack of protective gear and supplies.

“The stimulus bill will help boost domestic production of personal protective equipment, ventilators, and other urgently needed medical supplies while ensuring that these resources get to the front-line workers who need the most protection. The bill also helps protect federal employees by boosting agencies’ telework capacity, enhancing security screening at federal buildings, and funding deep cleaning of federal worksites.

“However, this bill falls short in several ways – particularly when it comes to protecting federal workers who risk daily exposure to the coronavirus. Provisions left out of the bill would have provided hazard duty pay for front-line federal workers, mandated telework across federal agencies, allowed federal employees unable to work to use weather and safety leave, removed barriers for confirming cases of COVID-19 among federal workers, and nullified three anti-worker executive orders that have prevented federal unions from providing input and guidance into agency decisions affecting workers’ health and safety. We look forward to working with Congress in the near-term to address these unresolved issues.”

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