Essential workers sacrifice their well-being and life every day. without guaranteed healthcare or sick leave. Yet, corporations want liability protection?
Essential workers sacrifice – Corporations extract
It turns out the corporations are lobbying Congress to remove their COVID-19 liabilities. The Washington Post reported the following.
Congressional leaders are girding for a huge fight over the reentry of millions of Americans to the workplace, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) insisting that employers be shielded from liability if their workers contract the coronavirus. He appears to have the backing of top White House officials.
Democratic leaders have declared they will oppose such blanket protections, putting Washington’s power brokers on opposite sides of a major issue that could have sweeping implications for health care and the economy in the coming months. The battle has unleashed a frenzy of lobbying, with major industry groups, technology firms, insurers, manufacturers, labor unions, and plaintiffs lawyers all squaring off.
The clash is a sharp departure from the past six weeks, when lawmakers from both parties came together to swiftly approve nearly $3 trillion in emergency funds as Americans hunkered down during the pandemic. Now, lawmakers are warring over what the rules should be when millions of Americans return to the workplace. …
McConnell is playing the game of not letting a crisis go to waste as he has been trying this injustice for years.
Linda Lipsen, chief executive of the trial lawyers lobby American Association for Justice, alleged that Republicans and business groups are trying to use the pandemic to advance their long-standing agenda of limiting people’s ability to sue when they are harmed.
“Sen. McConnell has been promoting immunity for companies that act unreasonably for over 30 years, and this is an extension of that,” Lipsen said. “This move to hold this covid package hostage with his agenda items is unpatriotic.” …
And then there is this justification.
Stephen Moore, a conservative economist who is a member of the White House council to reopen the country, claimed credit in an interview for bringing the issue to the attention of the administration — although GOP aides and administration officials say they’ve been hearing about the topic from businesses all over.
“Here’s how I got the idea: I kept getting calls from employers, small business owners and people who run factories, who were saying, ‘It’s going to be really difficult even when we reopen to hire back workers if we have to worry about these lawsuits.’ One of them said, ‘Is there any way we can get an immunity clause from lawsuits?’ ” Moore recounted.
“And I thought, ‘Wow, I’m sure a lot of businesses are feeling the same pressure, and it turns out that was exactly right.’ There are a lot of employers saying this,” Moore said. “Then I sent it to the White House economic team and said it has to be part of any economic recovery package.”
Imagine if these politicians displayed this care for the workers. Should they not first worry that employees have universal healthcare in case they get sick before being concerned about them suing the company after getting sick? Corporations want workers to take the risk as they ask taxpayers to offset theirs.
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