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Saying “America refuses to thank them with pink slips,” American
Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) President
Lee Saunders launched a public information campaign to provide funds
and assistance to state and local governments so public service
workers can stay on the job during the coronavirus pandemic.”Front-line health care workers, correction officers, home and child
care providers, sanitation workers, and other public service workers
put their lives on the line everyday to save ours,” Saunders said.
“Public service workers and the services they provide are essential to
beating this pandemic and opening the economy.”

State and local government budgets depend heavily on tax revenues, in
particular sales taxes. With Americans staying home and businesses
shut down, governments are seeing their coffers run dry. AFSCME noted
many have announced furloughs and layoffs as they legally cannot run
deficits.

Among the actions being taken by the MTD-affiliated union is a pair of
videos — Front-Line Fighters and Public Service Army. These will be
televised in selected locations, including Washington, DC, as
legislators return to the Capitol to consider another relief funding
bill.

AFSCME noted the bipartisan National Governors Association, among
others, has called on the Congress to assist state and local
governments.

“Does anyone’s idea of a reopened America mean permanently overwhelmed
hospitals, overcrowded classrooms, trash in the street, and dirty
water coming out of the tap?” Saunders asked.