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Six months into the COVID-19 crisis and the economic lockdown, millions of workers are still left behind. The pandemic relief package that’s currently languishing in the Senate excludes millions of workers, including undocumented immigrants, as well as many other types of workers who do not qualify under the criteria for federal and state aid schemes—perhaps because they are formerly incarcerated, or because they worked off the books. Community and labor groups have been campaigning for equal benefits for excluded workers, particularly since so many are working low-wage jobs that leave them especially at risk of getting sick or losing their jobs. Although California has managed to provide some relief for undocumented workers, New York has so far failed to pass a similar measure. The National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) held a rally in New York on Indigenous People’s Day, calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to support relief legislation that would cover excluded workers, to offer benefits parallel to the pandemic unemployment assistance other workers have received. We speak with Nadia Marin-Molina, co-executive director of NDLON, about the grassroots push to include the excluded, not just during the pandemic, but across the economy and public benefits system.
In other news, we cover layoffs at the New School, Dr. David Michaels on the failures of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration under Trump, mourning workers in Minnesota, and Bay Area hospital workers on strike. With recommended reading on a Kafkaesque customer service job scheme and Trump’s trickle-down economics.
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Halting Workplace COVID-19 Transmission: An Urgent Proposal to Protect American Workers (The Century Foundation)
Remembering Those Who’ve Died of COVID-19 (CBS Minnesota)
Nadia Marin-Molina, Co-Executive Director, National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)
Argh, I wish I’d written that!
Michelle: Ken Armstrong, Justin Elliott and Ariana Tobin, Meet the Customer Service Reps for Disney and Airbnb Who Have to Pay to Talk to You (ProPublica)
Sarah: Daniel Marans, Trump Promised A Break With GOP Trickle-Down Economics. He Delivered More Of The Same. (Huffington Post)