U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala (FL27) led 92 Members of Congress in writing a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy urging them include protections for property service workers in any future legislation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the lawmakers asked that the next legislative package include provisions to provide personal protective equipment, expanded paid sick, family, and medical leave, as well as fair compensation – supported by payroll tax credits to employers – to these essential workers.
“As we watch the number of deaths and cases from the COVID-19 pandemic continue to grow, we must make sure that the next legislative package that passes the House protects property service workers. These essential workers keep our nation moving in our time of crisis,” said Rep. Shalala.
“The duties of property service workers (building cleaners, security officers, residential service workers, contracted airport service workers, cafeteria workers, parking workers, and others) are critically important to keeping the public healthy and our buildings and facilities safe. Property service workers across many sectors act as first responders — meeting the immediate needs of our communities and ensuring the spaces we rely on continue to be clean, safe, and operational, “the Members wrote.
“We risk our lives every day to make sure office buildings and classrooms are safe and sanitized for the public,” said Antonio Vento, a janitor at the University of Miami and father of a disabled son. “Even though our work often goes unnoticed, we are providing a crucial service in preventing the spread of this terrible disease. We are essential workers and deserve essential pay and health and safety protections.”
The full text of the letter is available here.