Union Demand for Relief for Workers

For Immediate Release: 

March 17, 2020


More than 1 Million Working Pennsylvanians Demand BOLD Action in Response to Covid-19 


40+ partner organizations release ‘American Working Family Relief Action’ plan, an urgent call for lawmakers and elected leaders to provide critical relief to the working families hardest hit by the Covid-19 virus, and the front line workers who care for all of us in this time of crisis  


Harrisburg — Today, a coalition of more than 40 organizations representing more than 1 million of the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians, the workers who are hardest hit by the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus, and the front line workers who are bravely rising to the occasion in the face of a global pandemic, made it clear to lawmakers and elected leaders at all levels — we need action, now. 


The American Working Family Relief Action plan was released by a coalition of union workers, community, and faith organizations, and outlines what elected leaders of government need to do NOW to help working families in this time of crisis, including:

  • EXPANDED HEALTHCARE ACCESS: including fully paid leave for ANY Covid-19 related issue, including sick time, furlough, self-quarantine, and providing care to infected family members
  • ECONOMIC RELIEF FOR WORKING FAMILIES: including doubling unemployment benefits, eliminating the two week waiting period 
  • PROTECTING FRONTLINE WORKERS: including emergency funding and standards for healthcare workers, direct support professionals, and first responders
  • MAINTAINING OUR VALUES and VOICE by mailing all voters a ballot with postage paid return, and expanding resources to investigate attacks on AAPI communities. 


The current federal relief act in Congress falls short and leaves many working people exempt. In that plan, only 20% of American workers are eligible for the mandatory paid sick time.  Without immediate action by the government and the private sector, the burden will fall on our most vulnerable and working families who are already struggling to survive.  Without immediate action, public healthcare initiatives will be undermined. Workers who won’t get paid will not stay home, and families without health care won’t get tested or seek treatment.


“As an unemployment compensation worker, I have witnessed the immediate impact that COVID-19 has had on working families throughout the state. Thousands upon thousands are reaching out for help,” said Chris Good, Unemployment Compensation worker and SEIU 668 member leader.  “Workers need immediate relief to cover basics like rent, utilities and groceries. Just as the pandemic is putting extraordinary pressure on workers like me to step up, policymakers at all levels must take action now to ensure that all families get the care and support they need.”  

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