Update from General President Rigmaiden

Brothers and Sisters of the IUPAT,

The last couple days have been a roller-coaster of events, mobilization efforts and action, and can be summarized as, we fought and won the first round, but there is much more to do. Although we were able to hold ground and defeat the first bill that had nothing in terms of relief for construction workers, we were able to win an unemployment package for those of us displaced by COVID-19.

That was only the first step. We have much further to go in the fight to get relief for our Pensions and a continuation of health coverage that so desperately depends on work hours coming in. Work hours that are now stymied by shut-downs and work stoppages around the country.

Join us this Saturday, March 28 at 1:00 PM EDT on Facebook Live for our next steps in mobilization for pension health and benefits amid the Coronavirus crisis..  

Update from Washington DC: Congress Passes $2.2 Trillion coronavirus relief package

The Good

  • We shut down Mitch McConnell’s shameful attempt to forget about workers Monday and strengthened the legislation to benefit working families, not corporate lobbyists and CEOs. Mitch’s original bill would have offered the bare minimum for unemployment insurance and emergency paid sick leave.  
  • The Bill allocates an emergency federal unemployment assistance of $600 dollars on top of the current state unemployment ratesUnemployment resources by state,
  • The program will last for 4 months

Going forward Congress must do MUCH MORE to protect workers

The Bad

  • Even though the Senate has passed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package, this bill will not be enough to revitalize our economy, protect our workers on projects deemed essential, nor provide the recovery needed to put IUPAT members back to work on badly needed infrastructure projects as the work shifts.
  • The health and safety of our members has been threatened. If anything we know that the result of this pandemic is that we are not safe. The government entities that should have provided guidance in order to prepare for an outbreak of this magnitude… did not. this must be fixed. This administration did not provide the essential guidance for all workers and personal protective equipment for healthcare professionals to aid the sick during this crisis.
  • This package also does nothing in terms of the cash infusions needed to protect our pensions or provide continued health coverage if unemployment continues to rise in the months to come.

The Ugly

  • 11 million workers stand to lose if Congress can’t get this right!
  • We still need adequate protection for essential health coverage, pension security, and a plan to stimulate the economy so workers have a job to go back to.  

Brothers and Sisters, we need every voice in this fight as we demand that Congress stops wasting time and risking lives. We need a bill that protects IUPAT members NOW!

We’ve seen what a strong response and telling our stories to the press can do. Let’s continue that effort until workers get the relief and recovery we deserve!

IUPAT Members in the News

  1. Stephanie Ruhle, MSNBC, featuring DC 21 Member Suzi Person
  2. NYT – “It’s a wreck.’ 3.3 Million File Jobless Claims as Economy Comes apart
  3. WSJ: “Record 3.28 Milion File for U.S. Jobless Benefits”

When times are toughest, we are reminded that our Solidarity is more important than ever.

Ken Rigmaiden,

IUPAT General President

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