Statement from NYC CLC President Vincent Alvarez on the Coronavirus Economic Stimulus Bill
On behalf of the New York City labor movement at the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis, I’d like to extend thanks to United States Senator Charles Schumer for his tireless work on the stimulus bill. While there is more work to be done, this important first step will deliver immediate relief to NYC workers as well as some of our City’s most important industries and public institutions.
The bill includes provisions for a new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which will expand unemployment insurance to include those who are self employed, including NYC’s thousands of entertainment industry workers who have been among those hardest hit so far, as well as gig workers. It also includes aid to small businesses which will help in the City’s recovery, cash payments to households, funding for schools and hospitals, and relief for the airline industry that protects workers’ rights.
But Congress can’t stop now. New York State in particular is facing enormous strain as the first and hardest hit in our nation, and much more state and local assistance is desperately needed to address looming revenue shortfalls. More legislation is also necessary to make sure that workers are protected against being forced to work in unsafe conditions, to provide relief and employee retention protections for workers in the retail and hospitality industries, and to address the unresolved and growing multiemployer pension crisis. The labor movement will continue to work with Senator Schumer and the New York City Congressional delegation to make sure that New York City’s workers and their families’ interests continue to be represented in the negotiations to come.