California benefits: Unemployment and health care

Unemployment: If you have exhausted your unemployment benefits and do not qualify for disability insurance you may be still eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits up to $600 per week for 39 weeks. Click here to learn more.

Health care:  Local 2 health benefits cover the cost of COVID treatment. But if you know someone who doesn’t have good health insurance, there is a new state program that may cover any expenses if they get sick with COVID.  It doesn’t matter how much income they had last year, and it is open to everyone who lives in California, including all immigrants. Tell people you know to get the care they need to get healthy — they can apply for the program at clinics and hospitals.

Mayor Breed issues an order requiring face masks in public

Since Friday, as a measure to flatten the coronavirus curve most Bay Area counties will be requiring people to wear masks in public. In San Francisco people riding transit, working, doing construction or shopping should wear masks and should maintain 6 feet social distancing. Not wearing a mask “is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment or both.” Masks are not required for walking, jogging hiking or biking. Click for more details.

So called “Too Big to Fail” Corporations are at it again

In the March 27th package Congress set aside billions of dollars to provide hotel workers (among others) with financial relief due to unprecedented COVID 19 layoffs. Corporations like Marriott are lobbying the government today for a “no strings attached” bailout, meaning they want to have the liberty to keep the approved money for themselves, shareholders and CEO’s. Join Speaker Pelosi and our labor allies in pushing congress not to cut the workers out the already approved CARES Act. Sign the petition and tell your representative NO BLANK CHECK for corporations, protect workers and protect public health, click here.

Trump Forced to Give Money to Workers

Back at the end of March, the labor movement won some of its big demands in Congress, which passed a law that gives most workers up to $1200, plus an extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits if you are laid off (this will last until July 31). Trump government is sending the money this week and taking credit for what the progressive movement forced him to do. If you already filed your taxes and have direct deposit, your $1,200 check will come in the next couple weeks.  People who filed returns without direct deposit and have to wait for the mail.  Click here for the information.

Governor Newsom Announces Relief for Undocumented Workers.

Governor Newsom announced the creation of a $125 million disaster relief fund for undocumented immigrants in California. The relief will come as a $500 check with a maximum of $1000 per household. Click for details.

Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden join forces to defeat the coronavirus and to DEFEAT TRUMP!

Bernie gives Biden his endorsement with conditions: an economy that works for all, education, climate change, immigration reform and repairing the healthcare system. Click here to watch the full video.

SF Supervisors vote to shelter the unhoused in hotels

Bloomberg (read the full story here): San Francisco would rent 8,250 hotel rooms by April 26 as temporary quarantine facilities under a measure the Board of Supervisors approved Tuesday. The emergency ordinance would be in effect for three months and cost more than $180 million. It would give priority to house homeless people as well as front-line health-care and homeless-services workers. Local 2 wants city contracts with a hotel or food-service facility to guarantee basic worker rights, including health-care coverage from the first day for workers and enforced health-and-safety and wage-and-hour protections.

New York Times highlights Marriott’s hypocrisy

Marriott and other giant corporations promised last year to treat workers and communities better. But the New York Times ran an article today about how Coronavirus has revealed what these companies really think: “They just say: ‘We don’t need you. You are on your own,’” said William Gonzalez, a Local 2 member, in the article.  “All the executives, Sorenson and the others, they get paid millions every year, and we just get a few dollars,” Sonya Bautista – another Local 2 member – said in the article. “We give our soul to give our best for our company. I try hard to make the rooms beautiful for guests so they will come back. It’s not fair. Marriott doesn’t care about us.”

All around the US and Canada, UNITE HERE is pushing hospitality corporations like Marriott — which made billions in profits over the last ten years — to take care of the workers who’ve made them so successful.

ProPublica reports on UNITE HERE members

ProPublica.org published an article April 9th saying nearly one year after winning an historic contract impacts of the coronavirus have devastated hundreds of thousands of service jobs. Our union is calling on Marriott to step up. Click here to read the article.

SF to prioritize placing some homeless in hotels

The blog Mission Local reported that San Francisco is going to prioritize moving seniors who don’t have housing into hotel rooms. Local 2 continues to push city officials and community activists alike to remember that hotel workers — whether they have a union or not — deserve special protections when hotels are used for emergency situations. UNITE HERE supports housing the vulnerable, but is fighting to make sure that workers have the health care they need, and that they don’t get penalized for protecting themselves.