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This week, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act, a $1.9 trillion bill to help fight the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The changed political landscape in Washington, DC in 2021 and beyond was the focus of this latest episode in AFT Connecticut's podcast series.

The United States has the sad distinction of having the most confirmed coronavirus cases and death in the world, which has kept many schools shuttered for instruction in person. Parents and educators know that our children do best at schools, where they can get support, and they worry that the lack of learning in person has hurt students in need.

Larry Willis’s colleagues liked to joke that he kept a copy of the Railway Labor Act, passed a few years before the Great Depression, under his pillow.

“He loved the wonk,” said his wife, Amy York. “He could explain things in a way that normal people could understand.”

“It’s absolutely essential,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in an interview. “If you tell a worker, ‘Don’t come to work when you’re sick so you don’t spread Covid, but you’re not going to get paid and your family’s not going to eat and you’re not going to pay your rent,’ you’re asking too much of them.”

Read the full article in Politico.

California has become the fourth and largest state to adopt emergency workplace protections for COVID-19. Nearly 20 million workers in California will be protected by the new mandate, which includes requirements for face masks, physical distancing and reporting of outbreaks in the workplace. Rebecca Reindel, director of occupational safety and health at the AFL-CIO, said the federal government should follow the lead of states like California. “The virus doesn’t know boundaries,” she said.

When you buy union, you're supporting good jobs in American communities, jobs that provide living wages and benefits, safe working conditions, and dignity and respect for work. Look for these quality products, produced by union members, when preparing for your Thanksgiving feast.

Trece Andrews spent the last three months phone-banking and sometimes canvassing for Joe Biden in Michigan. The nursing home worker focused her efforts on Detroit residents and fellow members of the Service Employees International Union, telling them a Biden administration would protect their health care and do more to raise their wages.

Democrat Joe Biden gained more of the vote from members of the AFL-CIO than Hillary Clinton did four years ago, its president said, crediting laborers for the party’s wins in key states.

"Simply put, we got out the vote," AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told reporters Thursday. "In Wisconsin, in Michigan, in Pennsylvania, Joe Biden's firewall was union made. And the labor movement is expanding the map--look at Arizona, look at Georgia."

Working families deserve a leader who will focus on “we, the people,” not just on the person they see in the mirror. Only Vice President Joe Biden can be that president.