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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Donald Norcross (1st District of New Jersey)

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressmen Donald Norcross (D-NJ) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) are leading a letter this week to Congressional leadership requesting they include funding for key federal programs that implement and enforce worker safety measures, protect workers’ rights to organize, and provide access to employer and employee training – especially registered apprenticeships – in any final appropriations package for the 2021 fiscal year. The measures outlined in the letter were already included in the House-passed appropriations package but excluded from the Senate package detailed this week. In less than a week, over 40 members of Congress have joined the Labor Caucus, dedicated to centralizing the needs of working people and the labor movement in Congress.

“How we invest our nation’s funding is a reflection of our priorities, and as we continue to battle the coronavirus, we must prioritize the health and safety of American workers and families,” said Congressman Norcross. “It’s more urgent than ever to implement enforceable standards to protect employers, employees and customers in the workplace, in addition to expanding access to retraining and registered apprenticeship programs that will connect workers with stable, good-paying jobs. These commonsense measures are what our economy needs, and what our kids and families deserve.”

“For months the Senate GOP has stalled on passing a budget, and when they finally put one together it cuts federal funding to protect and support workers,” said Congressman Pocan. “In the middle of a pandemic that has left millions unemployed at no fault of their own and put thousands of frontline workers in danger without adequate protections, we cannot turn our back on American workers. A budget reflects our values and Congress exists to serve the people—not corporate interests.”

Full text of the letter follows and can be downloaded here.

The Hon. Nancy Pelosi
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives

The Hon. Nita Lowey
Chairwoman
House Appropriations Committee

The Hon. Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
U.S. Senate

The Hon. Richard Shelby
Chairman
Senate Appropriations Committee

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader McConnell, Chairwoman Lowey, and Chairman Shelby:

We write to you in strong support of America’s workers and urge you to keep their needs in mind as you continue to negotiate final fiscal year 2021 omnibus appropriations legislation, particularly as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic worsens.  Federal programs that implement and enforce worker safety measures, protect workers’ rights to organize, and provide access to employer and employee training – especially registered apprenticeships – are desperately needed.  In this moment of need for workers across the nation, we encourage you to support the following provisions, included in House-passed H.R. 7617, in any final appropriations package for the coming fiscal year:

  • Prohibit federal agencies from imposing new union contracts not agreed to through good-faith collective bargaining negotiations.
  • Block regulation implementation that prevents unionized home health workers from using payroll deductions to pay union dues.
  • Prohibit Department of Labor and National Labor Relation Board rules that indemnify corporations for wage and working condition violations of franchisees and contractors.
  • Prohibit implementation of any rule that would privatize job search functions and other essential services offered through the Employment Service System.
  • Not less than $12.7 billion in discretionary appropriations for the Department of Labor (an increase of $254 million above FY20 and $1.6 billion above the President’s request), including not less than:
    • $10.2 billion for the Employment and Training Administration (an increase of $187 million above FY20 and $1.5 billion above the President’s request), including not less than:
      • $2.9 billion for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act State Grants
      • $2.6 billion for operation of the Unemployment Insurance Program
      • $1.76 billion for Job Corps
      • $410 million for the Senior Community Service Employment for Older Americans Program
      • $185 million for Registered Apprenticeships
      • $101 million for YouthBuild
      • $50 million to expand Strengthening Community College Training Grants
      • $78 million for Foreign Labor Certification
    • $1.7 billion for Worker Protection Agencies, including not less than:
      • $594 million for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
      • $246 million for the Wage and Hour Division.
    • $15 million for the Women’s Bureau (an increase of $1 million above FY20 and$12 million above the President’s request).
    • $58 million for the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (an increase of $3 million above FY20 and the President’s request).

We thank you for your consideration of these requests, and for your continued support of America’s workers and organized labor.

Sincerely,

Rep. Mark Pocan                                            Rep. Donald Norcross

Co-Chair                                                           Co-Chair

Labor Caucus                                                  Labor Caucus

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Contact: Carrie Healey, Communications Director
carrie.healey@mail.house.gov

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