Front Line Workers at Risk

Frontline workers are performing essential duties without the protections or wages they deserve. What comes to mind first are workers in hospitals and first responders; however, the problem extends to grocery store workers, postal workers, repair workers, factory workers crowded into spaces without personal protective equipment, and many others.

We’re hearing more and more horrific stories of frontline workers performing essential labor during this crisis without basic worker protections and while earning poverty-level wages. These latest cases may be sparked by the current coronavirus crisis, but they are fueled by Trump’s failed economic policies that put corporations and profits ahead of workers and families.

  • Instead of investing in workers and implementing smart regulations and worker protections, Trump spent the last three years dismantling worker protection regulations and doubling down on flawed trickle-down economics that left workers and the economy further behind and more vulnerable to a crisis. 
  • Trump’s policies have eroded unions, created more low-quality jobs, and crippled workers’ decision-making power on the job — removing key guardrails that rebalance power and would have provided stability for workers and families in moments like these. 

Congress must act quickly to protect these critical frontline workers, put money in their pockets to help them make it through this crisis, and make the structural changes needed to ensure that this doesn’t happen again. 

  • Nurses, grocery store clerks, farmworkers, warehouse workers and other frontline workers are keeping people healthy and keeping food and supplies moving through this crisis, and Congress shouldn’t leave them to fend for themselves.  
  • This is especially true of low-wage workers and workers of color, for whom structural inequities mean that they are already less likely to earn decent wages, have basic employment protections, have the ability to work from home, or have access to health care. 
  • That is why upcoming legislation must include significant and immediate financial support and protections for essential frontline workers — and it’s why progressives are pushing for structural reforms to raise wages, give workers a stronger voice in the workplace, and reduce inequality to make the economy stronger and less vulnerable to crises like these in the future. 

Trump and McConnell are pushing for a narrow bill that would toss another $250 billion dollars into a pool of funds for “small” businesses (some of whom have gotten $10 million each from the first bill). Tell our Senators and Congressman that we expect more in the next bill — protections for front-line workers included.

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