The New Jersey State AFL-CIO commends and thanks U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, both D-N.J., and the Senate as a whole for passing the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, which is a lifeline to New Jersey’s working men and women.
The bill passed the Senate late Wednesday, March 25, by a 96-0 vote, and will be debated and voted on Friday in the House of Representatives. The New Jersey State AFL-CIO respectfully asks the New Jersey delegation and the entire House to vote in favor of this bill, and for President Donald J. Trump to sign it promptly.
New Jersey State AFL-CIO asks affiliates to contact their House members by clicking HERE.
“This labor-friendly bill could not have happened without the constant, steady efforts of our affiliates to make working people’s voices heard at all times. We can’t thank them enough for all they do. And we are extremely grateful to Sen. Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi for keeping labor’s interests first as Congress hammered out this bailout,” New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech said.
“There’s a lot here that supports workers who’ve been laid off or sent home through no fault of their own,” Wowkanech said, “but we still need more protections for frontline heroes in health care and retail work.
“There’s not enough money in this bill for New Jersey to get all the masks and ventilators we need, and we look to our Senate and House delegation for leadership in making that happen sooner than later.
“If we step up and work together and support each other with our shared union values, we will defeat this virus and come back even stronger.”
New Jersey working men and women will benefit most from $1,200 direct payments to most adult individuals, with another $500 each per child, and from four months of expanded unemployment insurance, adding $600 a week on top of typical payments to laid-off workers.
New Jersey hospitals will get a share of a $100 billion-plus health-care support fund.
Workers at small businesses in financial trouble may get to stay on the job if their employers apply for some of the $500 billion available for loans for businesses, cities and states, and for grants from a $367 billion employee retention fund.
Union members in the airline and other transit sectors will benefit from direct aid to industry that protects worker rights. Hard-hit workers who support New Jersey’s large tourism industry – which normally would be getting ready for the prime summer season – are included in a $6.5 billion set of economic development grants.
Other sections of the bill that have gotten headlines already include the delay of Tax Day until July 15, a pause in student loan repayments and additional money for low-income heating and cooling assistance.
For a deeper look at what the bill provides, please CLICK HERE.