Washington, DC—The Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO is urging the House, Senate and White House to pull together in developing policies that will help ensure that America’s hourly and salaried workers will not have to choose between their health and making ends meet.

About 78 percent of workers live paycheck-to-paycheck and nearly 80 million American workers are hourly employees who only get paid for the hours they work. As this virus spreads rapidly across the country, working families will suffer the consequences of inaction by our elected officials.

House Democrats released their coronavirus economic relief bill late Wednesday night, just as layoffs related to the Coronavirus outbreak were being reported. Their emergency economic plan is the first government response that actually addresses the needs of working families.

The Democratic bill includes coverage for coronavirus testing, paid sick leave, and expanded unemployment benefits for those laid off due to the virus’ effects on the economy. Additionally, the bill calls for expanding food assistance and state and local economic assistance.

The Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO supports this plan as it seeks to provide assistance to those who will be most affected by this pandemic.

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The Metal Trades Department is a trade department of the AFL-CIO. It was chartered in 1908 to coordinate negotiating, organizing and legislative efforts of affiliated metalworking and related crafts and trade unions. Seventeen national and international unions are affiliated with the MTD today. More than 100,000 workers in private industry and federal establishments work under contracts negotiated by MTD Councils. Workers retain membership in their own trade unions.