Two-time Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein spoke with America’s Work Force Radio Podcast on July 8 about the COVID-19 economic crisis.
Stein stated the COVID-19 pandemic has sent the U.S. economy into a free fall state with no end in sight. In an effort to keep their residents safe, many governors shut down their economies with “Stay at Home” orders, which turned inequality into a disaster zone.
About 46 million workers filed for unemployment, 27 million lost their health insurance and renters are at risk of eviction for not being able to afford rent during the pandemic. Stein said the aforementioned crisis was largely avoidable and the CARES Act was meant to protect the wealthy and businesses, and left the working person with next to nothing.
She provided several ideas on how to fix the problems and get ready for the next wave of the pandemic.
Stein called for increased testing, contact tracing and quarantine. She also urged legislators to adopt an emergency Medicare for All, create rent/mortgage defense legislation and increase worker rights and protections. She called for cuts to the military budget and reallocating that money towards healthcare, housing, jobs and education.
Tom Germuska, Jr., Editor of The Labor Citizen, talked about a few of the stories, which will appear in the July edition of Ohio’s only building trades newspaper.
The first story he previewed was about the impact of the appellate court rejecting the AFL-CIO’s lawsuit against the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also known as OSHA. The AFL-CIO sued OSHA for not enforcing regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to keep workers safe. Germuska said this is terrible news, given that COVID-19 confirmed cases are back on the rise and people are still working.
He then discussed a proposed wind farm project, located 8 miles off of the Cleveland shoreline in Lake Erie. The Ohio Power Sitting Board went back on their agreement with the project developer regarding overnight operation, which will effectively kill the project. The developer is appealing the decision. If the board does not reconsider their ruling, it will eliminate 500 construction jobs.
Lastly, Germuska previewed an article about training directors being flexible and adapting to new standards put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With registered apprenticeship training programs set to start back up in the fall, they are planning for multiple scenarios.
AWF Radio Podcast host Ed “Flash” Ferenc also spoke about the personal protective equipment shortage, which is due to supply chain issues. This shortage is a major problem, especially with the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.