The House-passed Heroes Act directly addresses the needs of TWU members during the ongoing pandemic. TWU strongly supports this legislation and is calling on the Senate to pass it immediately. This legislation is vital to our country’s efforts to contain and move past this virus, as well as to halt the free fall of our economy.
For TWU members, this legislation addresses several important policy and funding needs.
Honors Essential Workers
- Specifically defines transportation workers and others as essential workers. More than 95% of TWU members would be eligible for federal benefits as essential workers.
- Establishes a fund to pay essential workers premium pay up to $10,000 for their efforts during the ongoing pandemic.
- Subsidizes family care for essential workers who must leave their children, parents, and others who may need daytime care in order to work.
Prioritizes Worker Health and Safety
- Requires OSHA to immediately issue an emergency temporary standard to protect workers from COVID-19. Additionally, directs OSHA to develop a more general standard to protect workers from infectious diseases.
- Mandates the use of face masks and other personal protective equipment for both workers and passengers onboard public transit, airlines, and Amtrak.
- Sets CDC guidance for cleaning, disinfecting, and social distancing as mandatory requirements for airlines, public transit systems, and Amtrak.
Gives Workers More Economic Stability
- Prevents public transit agencies from laying off or furloughing workers if they receive federal funds.
- Expands federal paid leave requirements to all employers, regardless of size.
- Extends emergency unemployment insurance payments through at least December 31, 2020. Raises railroad unemployment insurance benefits to put them at parity with other UI programs.
- Provides 100% federally-subsidized COBRA benefits for workers who lose their healthcare coverage.