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IFPTE Responds to 2019 Novel Coronavirus/COVID-19




Throughout North America, thousands of IFPTE members work in occupations that put them at the front lines of responding to the diagnosis, care, and containment of COVID-19. Most other IFPTE members work in occupational settings that require frequent contact with coworkers or the public. As we take precautions to "flatten the curve," we anticipate the social and economic effects of COVID-19 will touch all of us.

In order to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and safeguard the health and economic well-being of IFPTE members, their families and communities, and all working people, a coordinated, science- and evidence-based, and well-resourced response from national and local public health agencies is critically important.

Therefore, IFPTE is monitoring and advocating for resources and regulations to protect workers in their essential workplaces, expanded worker protections to ensure economic security and to allow workers to stay home when sick, and other appropriate measures to protect our members and all working people and their livelihoods.

Canadian, U.S., and Global Labor Federations' Statements

  • 03.16.20: CLC - Canada’s Unions are Calling for Urgent Fiscal Measures to Respond to COVID-19 - "All across Canada, working people have been listening to public health authorities and doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19—it is now time for Canada to support them." More information and resources on the CLC's response here.

  • 03.24.2020: AFL-CIO - Working People's Demands in the Face of the COVID-19 Pandemic - "We demand action at the scale and with the urgency that this pandemic requires. We must protect our front-line workers; mitigate the public health crisis; sustain people as long as the crisis lasts, especially workers in severely affected sectors; support state and local governments; and rebuild our economy and put people back to work." More information and resources on the AFL-CIO's response here.

  • 03.19.20: Public Services International (PSI) - Public Health, Once and for All! - Concept Note - "This pandemic is definitely a public health crisis. But it is equally a social and economic crisis which shows the dangers posed to humankind when the stock market takes precedence over the state of wellbeing of the vast majority of the human population."

Canadian Advocacy and Legislative Efforts on COVID-19

U.S. Advocacy and Legislative Efforts on COVID-19

    Third Economic Stimulus Package
    • 03.24.20 - IFPTE Message to Congress: Put Workers First - In a letter to House and Senate leadership, IFPTE President Paul Shearon and IFPTE Secretary-Treasurer Mathew Biggs requested Congress work together to "ensure that the resources are geared toward assisting those who need it most – working people.” Sent as Senate negotiations on the third economic stimulus began moving toward a bipartisan compromise, IFPTE’s message asserts that "Congress and the White House must set aside business and politics as usual and meet the basic needs of millions of Americans whose lives will be severely disrupted for at least the next few months, to alleviate the avoidable suffering of millions.”

      • UPDATE: 03.26.20 - Senate Passes Third Stimulus Package - After seven full days of negotiations, false starts, and failed attempts to pass a package that id not include protections for workers and benefits for Americans, Senators agreed to include aide to state and local governments for COVID-19 response as well as for 2020 elections, commit $340 billion to help working people, including for emergency unemployment insurance expansion for four months, and direct cash payments to working Americans. The legislation also funds federal agencies’ response to COVID-19, provides $172 billion on federal health research and response to COVID-19, includes $20 billion for Department of Veterans Affairs, among other provisions.

        The legislative package includes economic stabilization loans for businesses, including $17 billion in loans available to Boeing with conditions that the employer cannot buy back stocks or distribute dividends or abrogate collective bargaining agreements until a year after the loan repayment period ends and that employment levels be maintained through the end of September 2020, with no more than 10% decease in employment afterward. Read Senate Appropriations Vice Chair Leahy’s summary.

      • 03.19.20 - IFPTE Sends Letter to Congress Supporting Aerospace Industry Workforce - IFPTE’s letter to Congressional leadership and Members of Congress requests prioritizing the economic security, union rights, and collective bargaining agreements of U.S. aerospace workforce in a letter supporting federal financial assistance for this strategic national industry.

    Second Economic Stimulus Package
    • 03.11.20 - IFPTE Urges Passage of Families First Coronavirus Response Act, H.R. 6201 - This relief package includes additional food and nutrition benefits for workers, children, and seniors; increased support for states' unemployment insurance benefits and additional unemployment benefits for states that ease benefit requirements; and requirements for employers to provide at least 14 days of paid sick leave on a temporary basis and for OSHA to issue an enforceable standard on infectious diereses, both issues that IFPTE supported last week. This bill is expected to be voted on before Congress begins their March 14 recess.

      • UPDATE: The House and the Senate passed an amended version of the original bill. While this bill does not cover paid sick leave for employers with over 500 employees and does not require OSHA to enact a workplace standard for infections diseases that are part of H.R. 6139, the COVID-19 Health Care Worker Protection Act of 2020 (see below) — issues IFPTE will continue to advocate for — it offers significant immediate relief on a number of fronts. Read a summary of provisions in the bill here and read House Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott’s statement on the passage here.

  • 03.10.20 - House Ed & Labor Committee Democrats Introduce Legislation to Protect Health Care Workers Against COVID-19 - Following a the AFL-CIO petition to DOL Secretary Eugene Scalia, which IFPTE signed, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (VA) introduced legislation to require OSHA to issue an enforceable emergency temporary standard for infectious disease. OSHA has worked on an infectious disease standard since 2010 and completed the substantial work necessary to procedure a draft in 2015.

  • Follow IFPTE's Guidance and Legislative Updates on COVID-19

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