House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised AFSCME members for their heroism in the battle against the coronavirus, and said Congress must do more to protect public service workers who are leading the fight against the pandemic.
“You have been our heroes on our front lines. As nurses, EMTs, sanitation workers and child care providers, you’re fighting to save lives, meet the needs of families and keep our nation moving forward,” the California lawmaker said in a video address to the AFSCME 44th International Convention.
“But we all have no authority to thank you or honor you unless we give you the resources needed to do your jobs safely and to keep your jobs,” Pelosi said, adding that the Senate delayed and ducked the issue while the House acted quickly.
The House approved the Heroes Act in May, which contains $1 trillion in aid to states, cities, towns and school districts. The Senate declined to take up that bill and proposed its own relief package in July with no state or local aid, a key priority for AFSCME members.
Pelosi said AFSCME has a special place in her heart because our union was one of the first to endorse her when she first ran for Congress 33 years ago.
And she vowed to continue fighting for working people’s rights.
“American workers – particularly public employees – have been subject to a cruel anti-worker, anti-union agenda,” Pelosi said. “We must stand strong against these attacks, ensuring that all workers have the right to form a union and to bargain collectively for higher wages and better working conditions.”
Watch Pelosi’s address to the delegates here.