Workers to Biden: Invest in care; create a path to citizenship for millions of essential workers; and invest in green infrastructure to provide millions of good union jobs for those hit hardest by COVID
PITTSBURGH — As President Joe Biden descends on Pittsburgh to unveil his physical and human infrastructure packages, essential healthcare and homecare workers, alongside immigrant rights, climate justice, racial justice and labor leaders, will rally near the presidential address to declare that a just recovery must include investment in essential worker communities – including care jobs, citizenship for essential immigrant workers, and green infrastructure to provide good jobs for communities that have been hit the hardest by the climate crisis.
Immigrant workers – disproportionately hit by the COVID pandemic – fill millions of essential jobs in health care, food supply chain, public safety, and construction industries. Activists will call on the President to follow the lead of several European countries and include a pathway to citizenship for immigrant essential workers in the next recovery package.
“I am an essential worker and a single mother of four children. My family needs President Biden and Congress to make sure essential immigrant workers like me have a path to citizenship as part of our economic recovery.” – Anayeli Cruz Ortiz, Immigrant Essential Worker from York, PA
Care workers are supporting President Biden’s commitment of at least $400 billion to our caregiving system as part of upcoming relief packages. This investment would create more than one million jobs in direct care and transform them into family-sustaining jobs that come with the opportunity to join a union. It would also put women — especially Black, Latina, Asian and immigrant women who perform the bulk of care work — at the center of our nation’s economic recovery and create the foundation of a new, inclusive middle class.
“President Biden is taking this opportunity with the next relief packages to turn around our economy by starting at the foundation: care work is the work that makes all other work outside the home possible,” said Erica Payne, Pittsburgh home care worker. “Home care workers have always been essential — we’re the human infrastructure of this nation — but too often we’re scraping by on low wages and lack a voice on the job. Investing in caregiving and making these jobs good union jobs will jump-start our recovery. We are essential to building back our nation’s economy.”
The speech also comes on the heels of the introduction of the THRIVE Act, legislation that would provide 1 trillion dollars annually of investment in green infrastructure and family sustaining jobs, with an intentional focus of reinvestment in black and brown communities that have suffered the most dire consequences of climate change.
“As a daughter of immigrant parents , I have seen just how closely connected the global climate crisis is with racial and economic disparities. Black and Brown families are not only hit harder by COVID and the resulting economic crisis, but they have suffered the most from climate change. With this recovery package, the Biden administration can take bold action to invest in solutions like the THRIVE Act and family sustaining union jobs for workers like my parents.” Julia Zabala, daughter of a TPS holder and an essential worker.
2:30: WORKERS DEMAND BIDEN’S RECOVERY PLAN HELPS THOSE HIT HARDEST BY THE PANDEMIC
WHO: Home care, healthcare and other essential workers and activists from Pennsylvania organizations including CASA, Casa San Jose, Pittsburgh United, Pennsylvania United and SEIU
VISUAL: Socially distanced rally nearby Biden speech with ‘Care is Essential,’ ‘Immigrants are Essential’ visuals
WHEN: Wednesday, March 31 at 2:30 pm
WHERE: Settler’s Cabin Park, 635 Ridge Rd, Crafton, PA 15205