Congress must help workers: HEROES ACT yes — HEALS no!

The following message was e-mailed to all Local 802 members on July 29, 2020:

Dear fellow musician,

I want to personally thank you if you’re one of the 4,000 musicians who have contacted Congress in the past month as part of our campaign to keep all workers financially sustained during the Covid crisis. It’s now zero hour.

Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats in the House have already put their cards on the table by passing the HEROES Act, which would maintain the extra $600 per week in federal pandemic unemployment compensation, provide healthcare relief in the form of a 100% COBRA subsidy and help protect pensions.

Now Senate Republicans have introduced the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act, which is unacceptable and severely inadequate. The HEALS Act as currently drafted cuts federal pandemic unemployment compensation to $200 per week for two months, does not protect workers’ healthcare with a COBRA subsidy, and is silent on protecting pensions. It proposes to expand access to federal economic support for chambers of commerce but will continue to exclude nonprofit labor unions from eligibility for the same much-needed emergency relief. But perhaps the most offensive and corrupt aspect of the HEALS Act is the inclusion of $1.8 billion in funding for a new FBI building, which would directly benefit Donald Trump’s hotel across the street. In other words, the Republicans propose spending your tax money to benefit the president – while leaving much-needed support for working people out of this important relief package.

Local 802 calls on the Senate to dismiss this legislative draft outright and begin negotiations on the House-passed HEROES Act, which will provide the federal relief that working families across the country desperately need. Together as a union we have a powerful collective voice. It’s time to press our case, but we must do it without delay.

If you haven’t participated in our campaign to lobby Congress for legislation that puts workers first, please do so now by clicking here.

In solidarity,

Local 802 President Adam Krauthamer