PITTSBURGH, July 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) union released the following statement today from USW International President Tom Conway in response to the U.S. Senate's continued inaction on Covid-19 relief, coupled with the news that the U.S. economy contracted at a rate of 32.9 percent during the second quarter of 2020, the worst number on record.
"To put it simply, millions of American families are suffering and worrying about the future as we face the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, and one man – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – is standing in the way of the relief they so desperately need.
"The U.S. House took action months ago, passing a bill called the HEROES Act, which would extend enhanced unemployment benefits through the end of the year and provide other crucial aid to keep the American people safe and healthy as we continue to battle the health and economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The HEROES Act isn't perfect. It will need to be amended before passage so that it doesn't harm the pensions of millions of retired American workers. Still, it is an absolutely essential part of our national recovery, especially given today's news that our economy contracted by nearly one-third during the past quarter.
"By contrast, the plan that McConnell and his fellow Senate Republicans have put forward is far too little and far too late. It fails to extend the emergency unemployment relief that Americans need so they can stay in their homes, pay their bills and feed their families. It also does not do enough to ensure safe workplaces or to provide hazard pay for front-line workers.
"Millions of American families will be facing a crisis this week when their emergency unemployment relief expires. The HEROES Act is the answer to that crisis. It's time for Mitch McConnell to stop standing in the way and allow Congress to provide the American people with the relief they need."
The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, mining, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining, the service, public and health care sectors and higher education. For more information: www.usw.org.