The IAM recently endorsed the Empowering Striking Workers Act, a bill that U.S. Representatives Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), and Donald Norcross (D-N.J.), introduced to Congress this week.
The proposed law would allow striking workers to collect unemployment benefits two weeks after a strike begins, at the start of a lockout, or when the company hires replacement workers, whichever comes first.
“This legislation would be an enormous relief to workers who sacrifice so much to raise the standard of conditions, treatment and compensation in our workplaces,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Workers do not strike without good reason, and they risk their livelihoods and their families’ security to do it.”
Workers who become unemployed after a strike or lockout ends would also be eligible for unemployment benefits under the act.
The IAM joins a long list of organizations that have also endorsed the bill, including more than a dozen unions representing millions of workers.
“As a society, we need to be supporting workers who go on strike or get locked out, because they support the communities where we all live and work,” said Martinez. “The IAM thanks Congressman Schiff for taking this initiative and strongly encourages Congress to pass this bill.”