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American Rescue Plan Brings Much-Needed Help to Workers

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Last week, President Joe Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion investment in our country’s recovery and future success. AFL-CIO affiliate unions released a flurry of statements praising the bill’s enactment and highlighting how the American Rescue Plan will help our members.

“This is a historic victory for public service workers and working families across the country,” said AFSCME President Lee Saunders. “The American Rescue Plan is a bold and comprehensive expression of our values. Among many other things, this landmark legislation will deliver families a vital economic lifeline in the form of $1,400 checks, protect health care coverage for those who have lost their jobs and invest in the public services we need to finally crush this virus and build back better.”

The American Rescue Plan provides billions of dollars in federal aid to make schools safe so students, teachers and staff can return to the classroom. The School Administrators (AFSA), under the leadership of President Ernest Logan, gave its stamp of approval after President Biden signed the bill into law. The union issued a statement last week: “Today’s final passage of the American Rescue Plan Act, which provides $125 billion to reopen schools safely and billions more to support America’s struggling workforce, arrives not a minute too soon.”

The new law provides direct payments to struggling American taxpayers and extends weekly unemployment benefits for families in need through Labor Day and makes a substantial portion of aid from last year tax-free,” explained UAW President Rory Gamble. “The law will help facilitate schools and colleges to reopen safely, while boosting COVID-19 testing and vaccine distribution, and increasing food assistance, and bringing relief to businesses around the country.”

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and other unions have been fighting hard for months to extend the Payroll Support Program for aviation workers. “Thanks to this bill, tens of thousands of airline workers and their families will avoid the prospect of finding themselves in the unemployment line or worrying about how they will pay their bills,” ALPA President Capt. Joe DePete said. “Instead, they will be ready for takeoff and well positioned to help lead our nation’s economic recovery.”