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NC'ians Call on Sen. Tillis to Put Health of Workers & Customers Ahead of Corporate Immunity

ADVISORY: Senator Tillis to Participate in Senate Hearing Today Focused on Letting Businesses Off The Hook If They Cause People To Get Sick


North Carolinians Call on Senator Tillis to Put Health of Workers & Customers Ahead of Corporate Immunity


GOP Leaders Are Refusing to Provide Critical Funding for State & Local Governments Unless Businesses Are Absolved of Responsibility


Raleigh, N.C. – Ahead of Senator Thom Tillis participating in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today focused on putting business protections ahead of the health and safety of North Carolina workers and customers, Piedmont Rising Executive Director Casey Wilkinson released the following statement:


“Senator Tillis wants to turn his back on North Carolinians and give corporations the green light to force their employees back to work without taking any responsibility for their health and safety. If employees refuse, they will lose access to the unemployment benefits that Tillis voted to restrict. And thanks in part to Tillis, workers do not have access to paid leave -- because Tillis voted against providing it in March as this pandemic was already underway. Any way you look at it, workers could soon be stuck in a deadly trap.


“To make matters worse, Tillis agrees with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that states and cities should ‘use the bankruptcy route,’ which would lead to layoffs for health care workers, firefighters and teachers, and make our communities less safe. Republican Senators have vowed to reject any funding for state and local governments unless businesses receive the immunity that is the focus of today’s Senate hearing. Senators should be in the business of protecting people from the virus, not protecting big companies from their responsibility to their workers: Tillis must reject this proposal and put the health and safety of North Carolina workers first.”


Background

  • Businesses are seeking immunity from potential suits related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made clear that without offering corporations complete immunity for dangerous behavior, Senate Republicans would not support providing federal aid to states, who are currently bearing the brunt of this crisis.

  • McConnell is now preventing aid from going to states until businesses receive immunity. He has made it clear that his red line in the next congressional relief package is ensuring that corporations are able to abdicate their responsibility to their workers.

  • McConnell and congressional Republicans are holding workers hostage. First, they made workers choose between their lives and their livelihoods by refusing to offer paid sick leave –people were forced to come to work even if they were sick in order to pay their bills. Now they’re trying to take away any leverage workers have to ensure their employers protect them while at work by offering corporations immunity from any harm that befalls their workers.

  • Senator Thom Tillis recently said he’s “aligned with Leader McConnell” on the suggestion that states should “use the bankruptcy route” to alleviate economic stress caused by the coronavirus pandemic — an idea that would put North Carolina’s economic recovery and essential services at risk.

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About Piedmont Rising

Piedmont Rising is a 501 (c)4 issue advocacy organization built by and for North Carolinians to advocate for lower insurance premiums and prescription drug costs and to ensure that more people have access to safe and affordable health care. Through grassroots organizing, education, and engagement, we are amplifying our health care stories and holding our elected officials accountable to the people, and issues they were elected to represent. www.piedmontrising.org


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