There really is no other way to describe 2020.
The challenges facing our country and the world this year are ones for the record books. They’ve meant a demanding year for Rapid Response, with repeated actions and 123 different InfoAlerts, ActionCalls, and Feedback Reports. We wanted to take a moment to reflect on all the excellent work you did this year protecting and fighting for the core values of our union.
Here is 2020 at a glance:
- Collective Bargaining - In January, we urged the House to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act (HR 2474), the single most transformative piece of labor legislation to be introduced in decades. On February 6, 2020, USW members were in the U.S. Capitol to see the House pass the PRO Act with bipartisan support. Read more HERE.
- Safety and Health - In March, the USW demanded that OSHA implement an emergency, temporary infectious disease standard to keep workers safe during the COVID 19 pandemic. When the secretary of Labor refused, we urged Congressto pass the COVID-19 Every Worker Protection Act of 2020 (H.R. 6559). Read more HERE.
- Job Security and Trade - In May, the USW filed a trade case over dumped and subsidized passenger vehicle and light truck (PVLT) tires. Rapid Response urged federal legislators in targeted states to sign on to a letter of support. The case is ongoing. Read more HERE.
- Health Care - During the first surge of COVID 19, over 33 million Americans lost their jobs and healthcare, including tens of thousands of Steelworkers. We urged Congress to pass The Worker Health Coverage Protection Act (HR 6514). This bill would provide 100 percent federal financing to cover the full cost of COBRA premiums owed by workers who lost their jobs, were furloughed, or had their hours reduced due to the coronavirus crisis. Read more HERE.
- Retirement Security - Once the House passed the Butch Lewis Act to protect multiemployer pension plans, we shifted our focus to pressuring the Senate. We also fought off other problematic pension proposals.
- Domestic Economic Issues – COVID 19 brought domestic economic issues to the forefront in 2020. Rapid Response worked diligently on COVID relief, provided education on the bills that passed, fought to keep the postal service adequately funded, and pressured states to enact paid leave bills.
- Defending Democracy - In addition to all of that, Rapid Response was on the front lines to defend democracy by making sure our members had access to critical information like voter registration deadlines, mail-in ballot information, and how to cast your ballot on Election Day. We also helped recruit badly needed poll workers and are thankful for each of you who stepped up in your communities.
We know this year has been hard on all of you. We thank you for your hard work and dedication to workers everywhere despite the challenges. We also thank our front-line workers who have worked tirelessly to keep our country safe, healthy, and on its feet.
Here is to a much better year for workers and communities across our nation . . . onward to 2021!
Click HERE for a printable version to distribute in your workplace.