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08.07.20

IFPTE's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Economic Crisis

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NOTE: COVID-19 INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE FOR THE WORKPLACE CAN BE FOUND HERE


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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 advocating for resources and regulations to protect workers in their essential workplaces, to ensure economic security for working people and families in the still unfolding economic crisis, expanded worker protections and policies to allow workers to stay home when sick and receive necessary care, and other appropriate measures to protect our members and all working people and their livelihoods.

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On this page:

  • Protecting Healthcare Workers and Essential Workers, updated 04.28.20

  • Telework Issues, updated 04.28.20

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    TAKE ACTION - Mobilize Online to Support Professionals Organizing, Occupational Safety, Protect Jobs, and a Fair Economy



    • 07.24.20 - Call Your Senators: Support H.R. 6800, the HEROES Act - America faces a crisis on three critical fronts: a public health pandemic, an economic free fall, and long-standing structural racism. Working people need safe jobs, economic security and freedom from systemic racism. Delivering on economic essentials included in the HEROES Act is an absolute minimum requirement for stopping the free fall into even deeper and deadly racial inequality. Urge the Senate to pass the Heroes Act, legislation that addresses the AFL-CIO's FIVE ECONOMIC ESSENTIALS and centers the needs and safety of working people:
      • Keep front-line workers safe and secure.

      • Keep workers employed and protect earned pension checks.

      • Keep state and local governments, our public schools and the U.S. Postal Service solvent and working.

      • Keep America healthy—protect and expand health insurance for all workers.

      • Keep America competitive—hire people to build infrastructure.

    • 07.20.20 - Tell the Senate: Include My State and Local Government in the Next COVID Relief Package - The House has passed $1 trillion for states and localities in the HEROES Act. Now the Senate must act to prevent the loss of tens of thousands of jobs and cuts to necessary services that will deplete our unemployment insurance systems, our communities public health and safety, and infrastructure necessary for our economy to rebound.

    • 04.15.20 - Tell Congress: During This Pandemic, Support Our Public Postal Service - From the American Postal Workers Union (APWU): The loss of the USPS would shatter our response to the Coronavirus pandemic, hit already weakened businesses, and ravage communities. Our public Postal Service needs all American leaders - Democrats and Republicans alike - to provide urgent and ongoing financial support from the Federal Government during this public health and economic crisis.

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



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    Canadian Advocacy and Legislative Efforts on COVID-19



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



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      Interim Emergency Package - "The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act" (PPPHCEA)
    • 04.23.20 - House Appropriations Committee Statement: House Passes Interim Coronavirus Relief Bill - While supporting the need for the limited scope for the interim package, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey signaled disappointment that Senate Republican leadership refused to include state and local aid in this legislation.

    • 04.21.20 - House Appropriations Factsheet: Interim Emergency Package Funds Hospitals, Health Workers and Testing - The $484 billion interim emergency package includes $75 billion for health system reimbursements and assistance, $25 billion for increased COVID-19 testing, $62 billion for the Small Business Administration's economic injury disaster loans, and $310 billion for the depleted Paycheck Protection Program's interest-free business loans for the purpose of maintaining small business payroll and retaining workers.

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      Third Relief and Stimulus Package - "Coronavirus Aid,Relief, and Economic Security Act" (CARES Act)
      • 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.

      • 04.06.20 - House Aviation Subcmte. Chair Larsen and Washington State Democrats Seek Answers from Boeing on Impact to Workers - Two weeks after successfully urging Congress to approve billions in aid for the aerospace, The Boeing Company is reportedly contemplating refusing to accept the taxpayer-funded bailout due to minimal requirements, such as not using the money to buy back stocks, and not laying off more than 10% of their workforce over the next six months.

      • 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.

        • UPDATE: 03.23.20 - IFPTE Supports $60 Billion in Federal Assistance for Aerospace Workforce and Their Industry - In a letter sent to House Speaker Pelosi, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, and all Representatives, IFPTE tells lawmakers, "stabilizing this industry with tax-payer dollars is necessary, but it is not possible to do so without first ensuring the economic security of the workers that make this industry strategic and vital to the U.S. economy."

        • UPDATE: 03.21.20 - IFPTE Authors List of Priorities to Washington State Reps on Behalf of Aerospace Workers - In a letter to Senator Maria Cantwell and the Washington state Congressional delegation, the leadership of SPEEA/IFPTE Local 2001 and IFPTE outlined our revised list of priorities for workers in the aerospace industry impacted by our current economic crisis.

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      Second Relief and Stimulus Package - "Families First Coronavirus Response Act" (FFRCA)
      • 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.

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    Protecting Healthcare Workers and Essential Workers



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    Telework Issues


    • 04.08.20 - NAIJ/Judicial Council 2 Urges Congressional Appropriators to Include Telework Funding in Upcoming Relief Bill - This week, the National Association of Immigration Judges/IFPTE Judicial Council 2 (NAIJ) requested Congressional Appropriators include funding dedicated for the purchase of telework equipment and services. Currently, a significant number of NAIJ members are required to report to immigration courtrooms throughout the U.S., despite the fact that the necessary portions of their work can be preformed remotely.

      • RELATED: 03.27.20 - Broad Coalition of Stakeholders Joins NAIJ's Call to Close the Immigration Courts - Over 70 civil and human rights groups and immigration advocacy organization urged Attorney General William Barr and Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) Director James McHenry to close immigration courts on an emergency basis in the interest of public health in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Numerous lawmakers have also requested information from DOJ and EOIR on their decision-making and rationale for keeping the immigration courts open.

    • 03.17.20 - IFPTE Calls on Administration to Mandate Agency Compliance to Protect Federal Workers, the Public - In an effort to craft a concise, unified, and effective telework policy that responds to the evidence-based requirement that aggressive social distancing is necessary to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, IFPTE President Paul Shearon and Secretary-Treasure Matt Biggs communicated IFPTE's recommendation for creating a flowchart that maximizes telework, authorizes personal protective equipment to those who perform essential work that cannot be performed remotely, extends Weather and Safety Leave to nonessential federal employees who cannot perform their duties remotely, and provides leave to "high-risk" individuals and people caring for sick or quarantined family.

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    NOTE: COVID-19 INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE FOR THE WORKPLACE CAN BE FOUND HERE


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