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Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy, joined by a group of unemployed Texans on the eve of the cancellation of the $600 per week in unemployment coronavirus federal aid, pushed for the US Senate to pass the HEROES Act.
The Texas AFL-CIO today congratulated M.J. Hegar on winning the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat, calling on Texans to vote on Nov. 3 for a new national path on issues that matter to working families.

 The Texas AFL-CIO and Every Texan (formerly known as the Center for Public Policy Priorities) today proposed a 10-point plan for reforming the Unemployment Insurance system in Texas.

Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy and Secretary-Treasurer Montserrat Garibay posted this statement on Gov. Greg Abbott’s rollback of Executive Orders to reopen the state:

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Working people are bearing the brunt of this global pandemic and economic crisis. The physical toll, death, pain, and suffering that Oregon’s frontline and essential workers have experienced is unprecedented.

Coupled with the economic collapse that has exacerbated long-term inequities for low wage workers and BIPOC communities, workers are hurting and they need protections.

Daniel DiSalvo asks: “Will Unions Let Schools Reopen?” (op-ed, June 30). Of course! The AFT published our school reopening plan in April. We said it isn’t a question of whether to reopen, but how to do it safely. We need the infrastructure and investment to physically distance, stagger classes, provide personal protective equipment and test, trace and isolate new cases.

Racial disparities in who contracts the virus have played out in big cities like Milwaukee and New York, but also in smaller metropolitan areas like Grand Rapids, Mich., where the Bradleys live. Those inequities became painfully apparent when Ms. Bradley, who is Black, was wheeled through the emergency room. Early numbers had shown that Black and Latino people were being harmed by the virus at higher rates.

This month’s historic Supreme Court ruling that LGBTQ employees are protected in the workplace by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was another step forward in the march for equality. While there is much to celebrate, this ruling comes as our nation is suffering from centuries-old systemic racism and grieving its latest victims. George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were killed by police officers. Twenty-five-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was gunned down on a run by two white men. We need to say their names, know their stories, and recognize why they were deprived of a full life.

Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy issued this statement on the Texas Workforce Commission's decision today to reinstate a waiver of the work search requirement for millions of Texans who have lost their jobs in the pandemic:

"We are relieved to see the Texas Workforce Commission respond to public and legislative outcry and walk back an ill-considered resumption of a hurdle to Unemployment Insurance benefits for working people whose jobs have been shut down by the coronavirus.

Race-neutral policies simply will not address the depth of disadvantage faced by people this country once believed were chattel. Financial restitution cannot end racism, of course, but it can certainly mitigate racism’s most devastating effects. If we do nothing, black Americans may never recover from this pandemic, and they will certainly never know the equality the nation has promised.

Read the full article in The New York Times Magazine.