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House Committee on Education & Labor Highlights Coronavirus Dangers to Workers and Their Families

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MAY 28, 2020
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House Committee on Education & Labor Highlights Coronavirus Dangers to Workers and Their Families
Congress Must Reject Corporate Immunity From Dangerous Business Practices
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House Committee on Education and Labor today heard testimony from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) examining the federal government’s actions to protect workers from COVID-19. In the hearing, Members of Congress outlined the scale of the coronavirus pandemic impacting the workplace, including health care workers, postal workers, meat processing plants, and small businesses. Particularly concerning are the impacts felt by frontline workers, who often have no choice but to risk their health at work or potentially lose their job.
Earlier this month, Senator Mitch McConnell said he would not support a new coronavirus relief bill unless it included a corporate immunity clause, leaving workers with no recourse against employers who endanger their lives.
In response to the House hearing today, Tax March Executive Director Maura Quint released the following statement:
“The Trump administration not only has no plan to protect workers and their families from this pandemic, they are pushing blanket immunity for corporations who endanger the lives of their workers. Working families now face the impossible decision of putting themselves and their families in immediate danger or risk losing their job.
Trump’s OSHA has not issued Emergency Temporary Standards to protect workers outside the health care industry. Now, when workers are most vulnerable and in-need of protection, OSHA has done little more than give vague advice to companies, rather than enacting any legally enforceable measures that would actually hold corporations accountable for the safety and well-being of their employees.
This administration is fully aware that companies are putting their own greed over the health and safety of their employees, and that’s why they want to make sure that corporations are given complete immunity, allowing them to sacrifice workers just to line CEOs’ and shareholders’ pockets without consequence. Make no mistake, giving corporations immunity from being held responsible for dangerous business practices will kill people. No lawmaker who cares about working families can vote to give corporations immunity. It’s just that simple.”

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