The number of Americans that have filed for unemployment during this global pandemic has surpassed 20 million!! With so many people out of work and stuck at home, essential workers have been out dealing with whatever may come their way on a regular basis.
Ohio Democrats believe that essential workers have earned the right to be paid more for showing up to work daily, risking their safety, while others are ordered to stay inside. Essential workers include a wide range of occupations from fast food workers to delivery drivers to healthcare professionals.
“The federal government in the next round of the coronavirus, number four, package should include federal dollars for pandemic pay to pay these workers,” Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said in a recent interview. Brown proposes the Heroes Fund which would pay essential workers $25,000 each, which is equivalent to a raise of $13 per hour. He also wants to reward anyone signing up to do essential work during the crisis.
There are 4 Democrats representing Ohio in the United States House of Representatives and each of them supports the idea of rewarding essential workers, even if their package looks slightly different.
For example, Representative Tim Ryan and Representative Marcy Kaptur joined 39 others to sign a letter to House leadership detailing how “future legislation should support supplemental pay that reflects the work and hazards these individuals are encountering on a daily basis.”
“My goodness, I mean, this is the least we can do,” Ryan said. “We’re throwing around trillions and trillions of dollars. I think those people on the ground should be the ones who get a little bit of reward for really being there for all of us for such a difficult time.”
Another Democrat, Representative Marcia Fudge, cosponsored a resolution that calls for essential workers to receive hazard pay, personal protective equipment, and health insurance.
“We keep saying they’re essential, but we don’t treat them like they’re essential,” Fudge said in a phone interview on Thursday. “You don’t pay an essential worker $8 an hour or $10 an hour.”
There are no further details as of yet as far as how this “hazard pay” would be sent out and to who exactly would qualify. But representatives are working to iron out the details.
It is unclear if this idea has any Republican support or if it will pass through Congress. However, a growing number of Democrats say it will be necessary because jobs such as, package delivery, takeout from restaurants, and childcare won’t be stopping, despite the danger of being exposed to the coronavirus.
Source: Spectrum News1