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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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Entertainment workplaces need more time and data to prepare and change the way show business works. “Here’s the reality: Because of the nature of the industry, arts and entertainment professionals may likely be some of the last workers able to return safely to their jobs,” said Liz Shuler, the AFL-CIO’s secretary-treasurer. “And when they do, they’re not going to be returning to ‘normal’; it’s going to be a very different approach to the industry.

The United States now has more than a million reported coronavirus cases, by far the most of any country in the world. The health of our nation, physically and economically, depends on the safety of our workers. That has always been true, but perhaps never more so than in the face of today’s crisis — and it’s why we need clear and decisive action from the White House. President Trump has given us more confusion than solutions, failing to use his executive authority to protect working people.

As Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, wrote in a public letter to the U.S.

“For all workers, the toll of COVID-19 infections and deaths is mounting and will increase even more rapidly as workers return to work without necessary safety and health protections,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka wrote in the letter, which listed dozens of members who have died from the virus. He faulted the agency for not doing more inspections, not issuing citations and releasing only voluntary coronavirus safety guidelines. “Without government oversight and enforcement, too many employers are disregarding safety and health standards,” he wrote.

Working people in Texas should be able to choose to stay home without penalty if their workplace does not meet widely accepted safety standards in the pandemic, Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy said today.

The national union that represents workers in meatpacking and food processing jobs, the United Food and Commercial Workers, says the administration should enact enforceable standards instead of guidance that requires protections like protective equipment, physical distancing, daily testing for workers and paid sick leave so workers can stop the spread of illness. And Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, echoed their concerns tweeting, "Using executive power to force people back on the job without proper protections is wrong and dangerous."