Groups caravan, rally to push worker benefits in COVID relief

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Courtesy MGN Online

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Groups from across the Kentucky and the country joined together in different formats to send a message to Congress about what workers on the streets actually need in the nedt round of coronavirus relief.

The Kentucky Events Coalition held a parade from Louisville to Frankfort to send its message.

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The group is comprised of nearly 800 members to provide state level advocacy, resources and a network that connects and supports all of the businesses, contractors and workforce in Kentucky. The businesses include event planners, photographers, caterers, audio visual companies, florists, tent suppliers, etc.

Thursday’s event featured a caravan of company-branded vehicles driving to the Capitol Building in Frankfort to rally for more federal support. The rally is part of a national effort to get the attention of influential Senators, and included simultaneous events taking place in New York, Florida, Pennsylvania and other states.

Industry members stressed the more than 12 million workers in the business, how they’ve been impacted, the ripple effect through the economy, and what’s needed, including more benefits, more accountability for businesses, improved economic injury disaster loan programs, and other measures.

The Frankfort effort was mirrored by similar events held virtually by The Center for Popular Democracy and the Main Street Alliance to demand that Congress provide greater protection for all—including excluded workers, families, and small business owners in the new COVID-19 relief bill.

Today’s speakers called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst in Iowa, Rand Paul in Kentucky, Susan Collins in Maine, and other Republican lawmakers to extend unemployment insurance, address racial disparities in access to business relief, strengthen small business infrastructure, and support other solutions to uplift all families. A recording of the press conference can be viewedhere

“Tomorrow, millions of families and workers across the country will see the expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Insurance that has been a lifeline for families and communities across the country,” said Ana Maria Archila, Co-Executive Director at the Center for Popular Democracy.“Millions of workers are struggling with how they will pay rent, fill prescriptions, and take care of their families. Yet the Republicans’ plan proposes to cut unemployment insurance from $600 to $200, promises cash assistance to a smaller group of people, and continues to rely on loans to small businesses, even though evidence shows that this is not the help businesses need.”