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Statement of Values regarding the response to COVID-19

23 Mar, 2020
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The Massachusetts AFL-CIO is proud of everything that the Labor Movement and our community and elected allies are doing to fight for the economic security and public health of union members and the general public during this pandemic.  

We owe our deepest gratitude to every worker on the frontlines, and every worker who is losing vital pay in the interest of public health; but more importantly, we owe them safe working conditions, economic safety nets, and access to testing and healthcare.  And we owe gratitude to every elected official working around the clock on policies to stem the tide of this pandemic. We believe that these core principles are essential to making sure that working people’s needs remain at the heart of any legislative or executive responses.

During this unprecedented time, it is crucial that all stakeholders in our society come together in support of measures for the public good that will stop the spread of this virus while mitigating economic disaster for working people and communities.   Those demands include:

Workplace safety protections for every worker on the job

Expansion of Paid Sick Days

Expansion of Unemployment Insurance

Affordable Health Care for every person

Free testing and more hospital beds

A real say in any bailouts:

  • Workers on corporate boards
  • No layoffs or wage or benefit cuts
  • No busting of union contracts
  • No corporate buy-backs and executive bonuses

Help paying the bills for every person who needs it

No foreclosures, evictions, utility shutoffs, penalties on late mortgage payments or student loan collection

Food assistance and emergency shelter for any person who needs it

All deportations and detentions by ICE should be ceased

The COVID-19 Pandemic has forever changed our world, and has demonstrated more than ever the fact that we as humans are all in this together.  The Massachusetts AFL-CIO’s vision pre-pandemic, now, and into the future is of a fair and just society that invests in the public good in a way that equitably benefits all working people.   Now more than ever, we call on our elected leaders to pass policies that do just that.