AFL-CIO lobbies Senate for worker relief plan

CLEVELAND, October 29, 2001 -- The AFL-CIO has asked all affiliates and their members to take part in a massive lobbying effort against the Senate vote on President Bush's economic stimulus bill.

The bill was conceived in response to the economic impact following the September 11 attacks on the U.S.. The bill, which has been passed by the House, contains huge tax breaks for corporations but little assistance for laid-off workers. According to the AFL-CIO, Congress has failed to provide relief for the 550,000 workers who have been laid off since September 11, which added to the 1.1 million workers laid off in 2001.

After the passage of the airline relief legislation, the Senate promised the AFL-CIO that a package for workers would be next on the agenda. However, the House passed a $100 billion stimulus bill containing tax cuts for the wealthy, but little financial assistance for the workers who need the help.

The AFL-CIO is encouraging the Senate to pass an economic recovery bill that includes real relief for workers including: enhance unemployment insurance benefits, federal subsidies to pay COBRA premiums, federal spending for infrastructure jobs, and federal aid to states in order to continue public services.

The Federation plans to organize groups of workers to target key Senators' district offices for the next week to 10 days leading up to larger demonstrations at the end of the week. The plan is to hold news conferences at the senators' offices on Friday, November 2, in order to coincide with the release of September's unemployment numbers.

BLE members wishing to assist the AFL-CIO's lobbying efforts should contact their Senators by calling (800) 718-1008 and ask them to support an economic stimulus package that helps workers.

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October 29, 2001
bentley@ble.org

 

2001 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers