AFL-CIO: COVID-19 pandemic daily brief, March 19

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) has shared a brief on March 19 at 11:30 am with the following information to be shared as resources within their affiliated Unions.

The labor movement continues to lead the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA) appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to discuss working people’s demands in the face of COVID-19: Watch Here.
  • Watch President Trumka's “State of Our Unions” address.

Safety and Health

The AFL-CIO’s Safety and Health team is in constant communication with affiliate unions across all sectors, coordinating their needs with the worker protection agencies of state and federal governments. The team facilitated conversations with unions who represent front-line workers and policymakers about the strategic national stockpile of personal protective equipment to ensure the working people who need it the most are prioritized. The AFL-CIO is also educating working people on the protections their employers need to provide to keep all at-risk workers safe on the job.

Legislative Update

The AFL-CIO sent this letter to the U.S. Senate urging passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201.) The Senate passed this bill Wednesday, and it will now go to the White House for President Trump to sign.

Legal Action

The AFL-CIO held a conference call Wednesday with all affiliate general counsels to discuss the federation’s response. The AFL-CIO’s Office of the General Counsel is putting together a webinar on legal issues arising from this public health crisis, with 2,000 member lawyers, members of the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee, and attorneys from SEIU, the Teamsters and the National Education Association. This webinar will take place today.

Support for State Federations and Central Labor Councils

For the third week in a row, President Trumka led the weekly webinar of principal and secondary officers of state federations and central labor councils. The AFL-CIO is working hard to make sure all our state and local bodies have the information and resources they need to support our affiliate unions and members.


The AFL-CIO Communications Department will be highlighting individual workers from different affiliate unions who are on the front lines fighting to keep working people safe and healthy. Keep an eye on our social media channels and help spread the word about these everyday heroes. This and more will be discussed on a call with affiliate communicators this afternoon.

COVID-19 in Numbers

From Johns Hopkins University (as of publication time):

  • More than 222,000 global cases and more than 9,100 deaths have been confirmed.
  • The coronavirus has now spread to at least 159 countries/regions.
  • There have been at least 150 deaths in the United States.
  • In the U.S., there have been more than 9,400 cases reported in all 50 states, three U.S. territories and Washington, D.C.


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